With defending MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi winner Taty Castellanos serving a card-accumulation suspension, NYCFC outshot Chicago 15-10 overall and 5-1 in efforts on target, but rarely made Gaga Slonina make a difficult stop.
But Heber earned a spot kick midway through the first half when he won a header on the left side of the penalty area that then struck the arm of Fire defender Miguel Navarro.
Fotis Bazakos awarded the penalty following video review, and the Brazilian hammered his finish past Slonina to lift City a third consecutive win and seventh match without defeat. NYCFC also took a two-point lead on the Philadelphia Union before they played the Portland Timbers later Sunday night.
- THE BIG PICTURE: City will hope the apparent hamstring injury that forced midfielder Gabriel Pereira out of the match just before halftime was a minor one. Meanwhile, Chicago will took toward a schedule that softens up just a little over the next three matches as an opportunity to snap their winless run: away to Toronto FC, home to D.C. United and away to Houston Dynamo FC.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It's not an exaggeration say Bozakos' Video Review was a game decider. Ultimately, he ruled in favor of the home side, though there wasn't an explanation that could convince Chicago manager Ezra Hendrickson.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Santiago Rodriguez. The Uruguayan attacking midfielder put in a grueling 90-minute shift on a hot day in Queens, making up for some of the workrate typically brought by Castellanos. He finished with three key passes and also contested 14 duels, winning more than 64%.
- 23' - NYC - Heber (PK) | WATCH