How the Chicago Fire Came Back to Stun Toronto FC 2-1
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Resilient is the best way to describe the Chicago Fire this season. There was no better term to use for the Fire’s 2-1 win over Toronto FC than resilient. With the win, the Fire improved to 10-7-5 and 35 points with a stellar 7-2-2 home record.
The Fire could have packed it in once they went down 0-1 midway in the first half when some miscommunication on a pass ended up a turnover. TFC’s forward Ryan Johnson was at the right place at the right time intercepting a Marco Pappa pass meant for Austin Berry. Both Pappa and Berry would later make up for the gaffe when they scored on the tying and game-winning goals.
On the first Fire goal, Pappa used some nifty footwork to capitalize on a TFC miscue. On the shot, Pappa drew the TFC defenders with a hesitation play with his feet to knock in the left-footed goal.
Berry was in good position for a beautiful header in the second goal, in the 85th minute that proved to be the game-winner.
Before those two goals, TFC’s goalkeeper Milos Kocic had a marvelous match denying the Fire on seven shots on goal.
The match was a physical one that featured pushing, pulling and shoving. It was marred with an injury to each team as well. The physicality was so intense that defender Logan Emory received two yellow cards for his aggressive play.
For the Fire, newly acquired Alvaro Fernandez was among the first 11 while Sherjill MacDonald came in the match at the start of the second half. It was their first games at Toyota Park in a Fire uniform.
Fernandez had his home debut cut short after he left the match with a left-ankle injury. He was not the only player to get hurt as TFC’s Jeremy Hall could not finish the match with an injury.
After the match, Fire coach Frank Kloppas did not seem to believe that he will be without Fernandez in next Sunday’s match against the Philadelphia Union. Instead of focusing so much on the left ankle of Fernandez, he lauded the veteran for his play.
Alvaro [Fernandez] is just such a good player – he has the ability to move and find space on the field. Technically he is a very good player and very composed on the ball, and I think he gives us the opportunity to now to have depth on the line with Patrick [Nyarko] and Marco [Pappa]. It’s just unfortunate that he rolled his ankle, but he’s just a very composed player and smart how he moves, his ability to make good decisions on the ball and I thought he did very well.
A great comeback win for the Fire as they are becoming the team without any quit in them.
Ernest Shepard is an analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes and observations were obtained firsthand.
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