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Fire earns tie but remains scoreless for season

KANSAS CITY KS - MARCH 16: Sean Johns#25 Chicago Fire clears ball from goal during game against Sporting Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, KS - MARCH 16: Sean Johnson #25 of Chicago Fire clears the ball from the goal during a game against Sporting Kansas City in the second half at Sporting Park on March 16, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 163867932

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Updated: April 18, 2013 7:13AM

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Fire managed to earn its first point in three games this year, despite remaining scoreless, tying Sporting Kansas City 0-0 on Saturday.

The Fire (0-2-1) looked poised to break its scoring drought when Dan Paladini got free in front of Sporting’s goal in the 90th minute, but Jimmy Nielsen made the sliding save to preserve his first shutout of the year.

Sporting (1-1-1) went scoreless on 20 shots in its home opener, despite a 73 percent to 27 percent advantage in possession.

Kansas City had two late chances to win against the defensive-minded Fire, but second-half substitute Soony Saad put his shot just left in the 78th minute and Graham Zusi shot high after getting free just outside the 6-yard box in the 86th.

Sean Johnson made three saves for the Fire, earning his first shutout of the year.

Two of three home openers for Sporting since its 2011 rebranding have been scoreless draws against the Fire.

The Fire returns home to host Chivas USA at 4 p.m. next Sunday.


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