Nikolic’s two first-half goals proved to be enough for the 10-man Fire, who played down a man the entire second half but held on for an important 2-0 home win at SeatGeek Stadium.
Chicago controlled play throughout the first half with Nikolic bagging the game’s first goal in the 38th minute, tapping in a deflected cross from Przemyslaw Frankowski at the near post.
But the Union missed the target on their best scoring chances after the break, as their two-game winning streak came to an end.
- THE BIG PICTURE: With three wins in their last four, the Fire are making a postseason push at the right time, currently sitting just below the playoff line. The Union are far more comfortable with their spot in the Eastern Conference table but could see company at the top soon with Atlanta hot on their heels.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The penalty call on Collin, who recently supplanted Homegrown Auston Trusty in the starting lineup, put the Fire in a great position before halftime. The red on Gaitan could have been equally decisive but the Union just couldn’t take advantage of playing up a man for an entire half.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: It’s gotta be the game’s only goal-scorer. In addition to his good run of form this month, Nikolic now has scored 50 career goals for the Fire — including six in the five games he’s played against the Union.