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Played
September 4, 2010 4:00 PM EDT
Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.
Referee:‬ Mark Geiger‎
 
88′ Collins John
Omar Gonzalez 90+1′
Top of the Match
Sean Johnson
Sean Johnson
Chicago Fire
Sean Johnson
Sean Johnson
Chicago Fire
Flop of the Match
Gonzalo Segares
Gonzalo Segares
Chicago Fire
Gonzalo Segares
Gonzalo Segares
Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire 1-1 Los Angeles Galaxy: Wild Finish In Chicago

Two late goals cap off a dramatic showdown.

By Nick Rosano

Collins John, Mike Banner, Chicago Fire, MLS (Getty Images)
There was no shortage of drama at Toyota Park on Saturday afternoon as the Chicago Fire battled the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 1-1 draw. The Fire, who played most of the match with ten men after Gonzalo Segares' expulsion in the 21st minute, thought they had won it with a late free kick from Collins John, only for Omar Gonzalez to nick a point for the Galaxy during injury time. Sean Johnson also saved Landon Donovan's first half penalty in another outstanding performance from the young goalkeeper.

First Half


Neither team looked comfortable in the opening minutes of the game, though Chicago looked slightly better in possession and Brian McBride nearly found Patrick Nyarko with a weighted pass, only for Donovan Ricketts to come out and collect the pass.

On the other end, Alex Cazumba put a cross right onto the head of Edson Buddle, but the league's top scorer could not add to his total, with the header sailing harmlessly over the bar.

The first major incident came on 21 minutes. The Galaxy won a free kick on the right flank, and as Landon Donovan curled the ball in, Leonardo went down from an elbow to the face from Gonzalo Segares. Referee mark Geiger didn't hesitate to make a decision, showing Segares straight red and awarding the Galaxy a penalty. However, the Galaxy's poor luck continued as Landon Donovan stepped up, only for Johnson to deny him by saving low to his right, keeping the game scoreless.

After the red card, the Galaxy settled more, looking to control possession with an extra man on the field. Chicago wouldn't make it easy for them, packing the center of the park. Only a storming run from Edson Buddle found any way through the bodies, but his cutback for Landon Donovan yielded nothing, as Donovan was out-muscled by Brian McBride before he could get a shot off.

With Chicago making life difficult for the Galaxy in the middle of the field, the Galaxy's best play naturally came from wide positions. The best chance to result from the wide play occurred in the 39th minute, when Dunivant went on an overlapping run down the left side and drilled in a cross that found Donovan, only for the national team star to miss another great chance and head wide.



Second Half


Despite playing a man down, Chicago started the half as the stronger of the two sides. Wilman Conde and Brian McBride both had good looks for the Fire, but could not put their shots on frame.

With the Galaxy lagging offensively, Bruce Arena opted to bring Bryan Jordan off the bench, replacing Tristan Bowen. Still, the Galaxy were having a hard time controlling possession in the midfield, and they sorely missed the presence of influential playmaker Juninho.

The match continued to show a slightly physical side, with Logan Pause shown a yellow for a tackle from behind, though the deadlock was nearly broken by a moment of brilliance from Landon Donovan. Donovan's clever backheel on the edge of the area found the onrushing Sean Franklin, whose shot fizzed just past Sean Johnson's far post.

As the second half dragged on without either team stepping it up offensively, both coaches went to their benches to try and spark some life into the game. Eddie Lewis replaced the fading Alex Cazumba while Carlos de los Cobos opted for a more defensive outlook, sending in Calen Carr for Nery Castillo and Polish defender Krzysztof Krol in place of Brian McBride.

The Galaxy started to pick up the pace as the game entered its final stages, thanks to the man advantage. They couldn't find a way through a resolute Fire defense and an outstanding Sean Johnson in goal, so  Bruce Arena opted to put on forward Mike Magee in place of defender Todd Dunivant. De los Cobos on the other hand, made a like for like switch by replacing Patrick Nyarko with Collins John, and it was this switch that looked to have won the game for Chicago.

Chicago's direct playing style had been causing some issues in the Los Angeles defense all game long, though it was Leonardo who struggled the most. However, the normally assured Omar Gonzalez brought down a streaking John Thorrington on the edge of the area, earning himself a yellow card and giving the Fire a great chance to grab a winner. Collins John made no mistake with the free kick, curling a low shot around the Galaxy wall and past the outstretched Ricketts to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.

Gonzalez would atone for his mistake just minutes later, though. As the Galaxy poured forward, they earned a corner which Landon Donovan delivered right into the middle of the Area. Gonzalez easily outjumped Conde--who played an otherwise superb game-- and powered a header past the helpless Sean Johnson to snatch a draw in injury time and break Los Angeles' two-game losing streak.

Nick Rosano is a NorCal-based contributor for Goal.com. Follow him on Twitter @nicholasrosano for more MLS insight and the occasional moment of hilarity.

For more on Major League Soccer, visit Goal.com's MLS page and join Goal.com USA's Facebook fan page!


Chicago Fire

25
Sean Johnson
Goalkeeper
0.00
-
C.J. Brown
Defender
0.00
18
Steven Kinney
Defender
0.00
18
Mike Banner
Midfielder
0.00
11
John Thorrington
Midfielder
0.00
21
N. Castillo
Striker
69′
0.00
13
Gonzalo Segares
Defender
21′
0.00
2
Wilman Conde
Defender
0.00
12
Logan Pause
Midfielder
63′
0.00
14
Patrick Nyarko
Midfielder
82′
0.00
20
Brian McBride
Striker
77′
0.00

Los Angeles Galaxy

0.00
1
0.00
22
Leonardo
Defender
0.00
5
0.00
-
0.00
9
0.00
7
0.00
88
Alex Cazumba
Midfielder
71′
0.00
2
0.00
4
0.00
-
Dema Kovalenko
Midfielder
0.00
10

Substitutes

50
Andrew Dykstra
Goalkeeper
0.00
3
0.00
19
Corben Bone
Midfielder
0.00
4
Baggio Husidic
Midfielder
0.00
3
Calen Carr
Striker
69′
0.00
7
0.00
15
0.00

Substitutes

0.00
12
Josh Saunders
Goalkeeper
0.00
20
0.00
-
0.00
-
0.00
9
Mike Magee
Midfielder
82′
0.00
6
Eddie Lewis
Midfielder
71′
0.00
-
Chris Klein
Midfielder

Coach/Manager

-
0.00

Coach/Manager

0.00
-
 
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  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
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  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
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Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
E. Torres E. Torres
Striker
Chivas USA
6 3
Clint Dempsey Clint Dempsey
Striker
Seattle Sounders
6 1
V. Sánchez V. Sánchez
Striker
Colorado
4 3
Federico Higuaín Federico Higuaín
Striker
Columbus Crew
4 2
Dominic Dwyer Dominic Dwyer
Striker
Sporting KC
4 1