Neither side were able to turn one point into three in Colorado.The Chicago Fire extended their winless streak woes to five games now in a hard-fought physical clash. Desperate times are calling both these teams but a 1-1 draw was the final on a cold Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Good’s Park.
The match started out with the defending champions playing out their usual scenario. Colorado was dominating possession in the opening minutes with good ball distribution from Jeff Larentowicz.
Chicago’s first legitimate chance came in the 14th minute when the Uruguayan duo lighting struck. Excellent combination play between Gaston Puerari and Diego Chaves saw Gonzalo Segares just strike at the side netting.
Midway through the second half, Colorado continued to set the pace of the game. Larentowicz hit a 25-yard out laser only to have punched out by Jon Conway for a corner kick. This was Conway’s third consecutive start for the Men in Red in favor of Sean Johnson.
Nearly five minutes later, Colorado broke out again at the Fire defense with a whipping Cummings shot, only to again have it punched wide by Conway.
Moments following that, Josip Mikulic was involved in an uncomfortable collision where he looked discomforted in the shoulder area. He tried getting back up but couldn’t fight it and was eventually replaced by Dasan Robinson.
The Fire finally broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute when the speedy Dominic Oduro ran against the right of the Rapids defense before crossing it in, scraping and finding Marco Pappa to tally his first goal of the night of an eventual man of the match performance.
The second half began with a little more physicality from both sides. Knowing the value of three points, neither side showed mercy. Following a Colorado free kick, Andre Akpan was able to meet the ball and slide between Robinson and Yamith Cuesta to beat Conway at the far post. That coming in just the 49th minute.
From there, the game really opened up. Dominic Oduro was feeding Chaves and Puerari with through balls, though most of them were broken up quickly.
Both sides were showing chances midway in the second half but the finishing touches were disappearing the further the game progressed. Debutant Daniel Paladini showed flashes of physicality and ability to distribute the ball when needed but couldn't create a winning goal.
In the dying stages of the second half, not much changed. Both sides bringing in fresh legs, primarily in the attacking third, however, they were not the difference makers they were inteded to be.
The game had ended 1-1 on what was a rather cold Saturday evening in Commerce City. This marks only one point out of a possible twelve for the Rapids; something that needs to be quickly changed.
As for the Fire, their winless streak extends to now five games and there are many questions left unanswered. Consistency is lacking in the starting XI and we are still uncertain as to who will be number one in net for the remainder of the year.
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