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Czichos, Brady lead Fire to 1-0 victory over St Louis City

CHICAGO (AP) — Defender Rafael Czichos scored late in the first half and Chris Brady made it stand up to lead the Chicago Fire to a 1-0 victory over St. Louis City on Saturday.

The Fire eliminated St. Louis City in US Open Cup play with a 2-1 victory earlier in the week under interim coach Frank Klopas in the first meeting between the teams. Klopas took the reins after the Fire fired head coach Ezra Hendrickson. Chicago had lost two straight at home and five of its last seven against expansion teams.

Czichos took a pass from Xherdan Shaqiri off a set piece and scored in the 40th minute for Chicago (3-3-5). It was Czichos' second goal this season. Brady made two saves to earn his second clean sheet of the season.

St. Louis City (6-4-1) was forced to play a man down after John Nelson picked up a red card in the 70th minute.

Chicago had a 9-8 edge in shots, but a 6-2 advantage in shots on goal

Roman Bürki finished with five saves for St. Louis City.

The Fire improved to 9-0-5 in their last 14 regular-season home matches against Western Conference opponents. Chicago's last loss to a visitor from the West was a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Seattle Sounders in March of 2019.

St. Louis City entered play with 19 points, the second most — behind Los Angeles FC’s 20 in 2018 — through 10 matches. SLC falls to 1-4-1 in its last six matches. The expansion club has scored 20 goals in its six victories and just two in its other five matches.

Chicago travels to play Charlotte FC on Wednesday. St. Louis City returns home to host Sporting KC on Saturday.

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