Pontius found the net just ten minutes into the match, contorting himself to flick a cross past Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson. Keegan Rosenberry got the assist, after clearing some space with a cutback and sending in a cross with his left foot.
In what was a sloppy 45 minutes, neither side had a clear-cut chance, Pontius’s goal included. The best opportunity of the first half fell to the feet of David Accam, who put his shot wide of the net from 18 yards in the 26th minute. Michael de Leeuw had found the winger streaking through the gap between the Union’s two center backs, but Accam was unable to finish off his run with an equalizer.
Chicago’s Matt Polster and Arturo Alvarez were the recipients of the half’s only yellow cards. Both were whistled for dangerous tackles in midfield.
Jim Curtin made two changes in the lineup following last week’s draw against the New York Red Bulls. Fafa Picault started in place of Marcus Epps, and Warren Creavalle replaced Roland Alberg. As a result of Creavalle’s inclusion, the midfield triangle was inverted, with Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin taking up more attacking roles.