Teal Bunbury's brace proved to be the tonic for the New England Revolution's woes in the Windy City, as the Revs bagged their first away win against Chicago Fire FC since 2013 with a 2-1 result on Sunday night.
Bunbury's game-winner came in the 54th minute, and was almost certainly meant to be a cross. In possession on the right side, Bunbury shaped to hit one of the two runners in the middle of the box, but instead found the top corner, the ball floating over a retreating Bobby Shuttleworth. The goal came against the overall run of play, with Chicago controlling large portions of the proceedings though lacking sharpness in the New England area.
The Revs got off to the ideal start, as they combined in the 3rd minute to take advantage of a mistake from Francisco Calvo. After Adam Buksa won the ball, Tommy McNamara drove into the box and unselfishly played across to Bunbury, who made no mistake one-on-one with Shuttleworth.
Chicago responded to the early goal well, including a great chance for Elliott Collier — stepping in at the No. 9 spot in place of DP forward Robert Beric — that he put straight at Revs 'keeper Matt Turner. They'd find the equalizer in the 22nd minute through Fabian Herbers, who was the beneficiary of a miscued strike from Miguel Navarro. The low shot off a cleared corner kick found Herbers' feet as Brandon Bye kept him onside, and the German-born forward was left with a simple finish at the near post.
The Fire had two great chances off set pieces early in the second half with the game tied at one, but neither Boris Sekulic nor Calvo could steer their headers on target. Shortly after, Bunbury put the Revs ahead for good.
- THE BIG PICTURE: It was a crucial bounce-back win for the Revs after a disappointing midweek performance in a loss to NYCFC. Bruce Arena's squad remains in a crowded pack in the middle of the Eastern Conference standings, and will get a boost of confidence from winning in a city where they've traditionally struggled (5W-17L-9T in regular-season play prior to Sunday evening). Despite playing well for large portions of the game, the Fire squandered their opportunity to move away from the bottom of the Eastern Conference, where they sit one place above the basement. The signs are there, but it has to get more consistent up front if Raphael Wicky's team wants to make a playoff push.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Five minutes before Bunbury found the winner, the Fire had the first of two great chances to take the lead through Sekulic. Alvaro Medran found him wide open on a set piece delivery, but the Serbian fullback mistimed his header, squandering one of Chicago's clearest chances of the game. Calvo would also miss a good set-piece chance a few minutes after, and were made to pay when Bunbury's cross-cum-shot found the far corner. They're defenders — not strikers — but those misses will certainly leave the Fire wondering what might have been, with a potential lead instead becoming a deficit five minutes later.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: There may have been a stroke of fortune on his game-winner, but it's hard to argue Bunbury doesn't deserve the honors. On a night when Chicago did a strong job slowing down some of New England's heavy hitters, Bunbury provided the most consistent danger and now finds himself in great form with three goals and an assist in his past five matches.
- Chicago: Saturday, Sept. 12 vs. Columbus (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)
- New England: Saturday, Sept. 12 at Philadelphia (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)