Colorado (3-3-1) also ended a 319-minute scoreless streak dating to Omar Cummings' goal in the 90th minute against D.C. United on April 3.
Marco Pappa scored in the 43rd minute for Chicago (1-3-3). The Fire are winless in their last five games.
Colorado's Brian Mullan began a 10-game suspension for the tackle last week that broke Seattle star Steve Zakuani's right leg. Colorado's Conor Casey also missed his fourth game because of a strained hamstring.
Pappa opened the scoring in the first half with his third goal of the season, beating goalkeeper Matt Pickens off a cross. Dominic Oduro managed to get away a pass to Pappa while being dragged down by Colorado defender Anthony Wallace in the right corner. Pappa took two steps and sent a low drive past Pickens.
Early in the second half, Akpan took a pass from Cummings inside the scoring zone and blasted a shot off goalkeeper Jon Conway's fingertips and into the upper-left corner.
Each team had a chance to score in the final 14 minutes.
Directing a 3-on-2 break for Chicago, Diego Chaves found a crease in the center of the scoring zone in the 86th minute, but had his shot go wide right of the right post.
Colorado's Drew Moor fired a shot over the crossbar in the 90th minute.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)