The Earthquakes twice took the lead through Ramiro Corrales and Chris Wondolowski, but couldn't hold on as the Fire earned draw at home.
The match kicked off in usual fashion for these teams, withoth sides feeling each other out in early stages of this rare mini-series.
The Fire, being prominently the more attacking side, gave the Earthquakes a scare in the 6th minute. Marco Pappa cut inside the field, but with a poor San Jose clearance, the ball fell into the feet of Chaves who banged the post from about five yards out.
Following that opportunity, the Earthquakes dedicated their efforts to keeping much of the possession for the time being. They managed to control the sequential moments of the game but nothing came of it.
Midway through the second half the Men in Red seemed to struggle with a congested midfield when in the attacking third of the field. Chances were there but captain Logan Pause's typical versatile play was quite absent.
The Fire had one more notable opportunity before calling it a half. Dominic Oduro was able to find loads of space on his right flank in the 39th minute before playing it to an on-running Marco Pappa. Pappa slid the ball into Daniel Paladini but his toe poke effort fell right into the hands of Jon Busch.
With 45 minutes from extending a winless steak to nine games, the Fire knew key pieces of the game had to be revamped. A blistering opening from Pappa & Co. but again, minimal danger for Jon Busch.
San Jose finally ended up surprisingly breaking the deadlock in the 50th minute of play. An Anthony Ampaipitakwong corner kick was redirected into the back of the net by Ramino Corrales to make it 1-nil San Jose.
Just minutes later after a series of efforts, the Chicago Fire managed to equalize thanks to a Dominic Oduro goal. Diego Chaves initially started the play when he began to cut into the middle before laying it off to an anxious Cristian Nazarit. Nazarit then took a whack at it and saw the ball deflect off and Earthquakes defender and both posts before Oduro smashed it in to level things up.
Both sides began applying pressure to strengthen defensive aspects as well as keeping the ball as long as possible. Condensed ball movement and tightening open spaces were factors in this shift.
Despite doing so, Chicago's Cuesta failed to match up with prolific San Jose scorer Chris Wondolowski. After a backheel from Corrales set him up, Ampaipitakwong crossed a pinpoint ball to Wondolowski, who snapped it in goal in the74th minute. This marked Wondo's 6th goal of the season.
Chicago continued pushing numbers forward and was once again rewarded. Marco Pappa found substitute Baggio Husidic in the center of the field who chipped a perfect through ball for an unlikely scorer in Cory Gibbs to tie the match at 2-2 in the 80th minute.
Additional opportunities came for the Quakes in the dying stages of the half but nothing came more of Wondo and the rest. Despite coming back twice to tie, the Men in Red have now an extensive streak of nine game without a win.
Many questions now arise among the Fire staff regarding changes but do expect some to be made soon.
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