The Chicago Fire and Nashville SC traded first-half goals and finished on a 1-1 draw Saturday night in Tennessee.
Daniel Rios scored in the 28th minute for expansion Nashville (7-6-8, 29 points), which has already clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and moved to 3-0-2 over its last five contests. Chicago (5-9-7, 22 points), meanwhile, got a 42-minute score from Boris Sekulic to help earn a valuable point. The Fire currently hold the 10th and final playoff spot in the East.
Chicago was the aggressor early. At least in terms of pressing in the final-third. However, the Fire managed just one shot on target in the first half.
Yet, it was the home side which opened the scoring through Rios. Off a deep cross from Walker Zimmerman, Randall Leal received at the near side of the box and directed the ball back in front of the net where Rios headed it home for his fourth goal of 2020.
Chicago, though, did not let that damper its continued pressure. Instead, the Fire managed to level the match just before halftime. On a perfect thread pass from Mauricio Pineda, Sekulic out-paced the Nashville back-line and easily beat keeper Joe Willis to make it 1-1.
The Fire were by far the better team in terms of offensive prowess in the second half. Chicago, which held 63.1 percent of the possession and had five shots on target for the night, especially picked up the pressure in the attacking third in the final 15 minutes of the match. Chicago's best chance came right before stoppage time when Elliot Collier had a tasty up-close look, but hit the right goal post in the 88th minute.
Even though the Fire earned that needed point, they are 0-6-4 on the road in 2020. Nashville, meanwhile, has not lost at home since opening the season with a 2-1 defeat to Atlanta United.