BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – After scoring just two goals in their last five league games, the Chicago Fire couldn’t turn around their offensive struggles in a 1-0 exhibition loss to Aston Villa on Saturday.
With an irregular starting lineup, the Fire registered only two shots all night, and a goal from Gabriel Agbonlahor in the 29th minute gave Aston Villa their second win of their US tour.
Agbonlahor broke through with a header off of a cross from Chris Herd.
It wasn't Agbonlahor's only contribution of the match. In the 13th minute, he sent a low cross to the feet of Stephen Ireland, but the Irish midfielder’s sliding shot went wide.
In the 26th minute, American left back Eric Lichaj streaked down the left side of the field and played a cross to Charles N’Zogbia, but he couldn’t finish.
Fire goalkeeper Jay Nolly was called into action in the 26th minute when he turned away another shot from Agbonlahor with a fingertip save.For most of the second half, neither team had a serious scoring opportunity. Paolo Tornaghi making the his only save of the half by kneeling down and picking up a weak shot.
Fire defender Jalil Anibaba forced a save by US goalkeeper Brad Guzan just before the final whistle, posting the Fire’s only shot on target, with a shot from the right side of the penalty area.
The Fire will head to San Jose next weekend, with hopes of fixing their offensive woes.