Jhon Durán brace leads the Fire past Toronto FC originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Chicago Fire bounced back from a loss over the weekend and beat Toronto FC at Soldier Field thanks to a brace by Jhon Durán.
The Fire let a two-goal lead slip away against the Columbus Crew on Saturday and knew they needed a win against Toronto.
Similar to the game against the Crew, Ezra Hendrickson’s team came out to a fast start.
Durán scored the first of his two goals in the fourth minute of the game. The Colombian striker battled and won the ball back in midfield. It landed to Chris Mueller who quickly returned the ball, putting Durán through on goal. The 18-year-old outpaced the Toronto defender before slotting the ball at the near post, past the Toronto goalkeeper.
Durán’s second goal of the game came in the 16th minute. Gutierrez delivered a nice flick to Durán, this time on the left, and he was off to the races as his shot once again beat the goalkeeper at the near post.
It was, as commentator Arlo White called it, “Champagne football.”
Durán was a nuisance all night for the Toronto defense, managing to get in behind time and time again. It led to a number of fouls from the Toronto defenders. A different night and the opponents might not have ended the game with 11 players on the pitch.
His brace, according to MLS, makes him the second-youngest-player to achieve such a feat, only behind DaMarcus Beasley.
By recording the first brace of his @MLS career tonight, @ChicagoFire FC’s Jhon Durán became the second-youngest player (18 years, 212 days) in club history to score multiple goals in a game.
The youngest player to do so was DeMarcus Beasley (18 years, 98 days). pic.twitter.com/FUGQpIoTjj
— MLS Communications (@MLS_PR) July 14, 2022
The Fire were able to learn from their mistakes against Columbus and held strong in the second half. It was an uneventful half which is probably what Hendrickson wanted to see. During his halftime talk, he mentioned how his team seemed to have lost their way during the last ten minutes or so of the first half and the need to pick the intensity back up following the break.
They managed to do just that with Gabriel Slonina picking up his eighth clean sheet of the season.
But the story has to be Duran. Making only his fifth start of his career, he netted both goals and is beginning to show flashed of what he is capable of.
One of the Fire’s issues this season has been their inability to take their chances. A running theme has been the team creating goal scoring opportunities, failing to convert on them and then finding themselves down in the scoreboard.
Hendrickson has given Durán an opportunity in place of the struggling Kacper Przybyłko. Tonight at least, he’s repaid the manager’s faith.
The Fire won’t have too much time to celebrate as their next game is on Saturday, at home, against the Seattle Sounders.