On a rainy Saturday night at BMO Field, the Chicago Fire and Toronto FC shared points in a must win game for both sides. The tie extended Chicago’s winless streak to seven games and puts Carlos de los Cobos’s head job in jeopardy.
The hosts started out the match in electrifying fashion. Toronto threw numbers at Chicago hoping to get a lead in the opening minutes of the match.
In the fifth minute a left footed Maicon Santos shot from the left side of the box was blocked. Just moments later Richard Eckersley took a deadly right footed shot from outside the box only to see it saved by Conway.
Toronto's plethora of efforts was finally rewarded in the 9th minute when Joao Plata was freely running at the Fire defense. He then comfortably slotted the ball into the corner with ease, giving Toronto the one goal lead early on.
Chicago tried to recover but seemed to lack the collective approach of keeping the ball in the midfield and possessing it for periods of time.
Minute 37 featured Joao Plata once again threatening Chicago with his speed. His right footed shot from the center of the box was blocked but it continued to keep the Fire back line in trouble.
Despite sharing a couple of legitimate opportunities in the ending minutes, the score stayed in favor of Toronto before both teams headed into the locker rooms.
A frantic start to the second half ended up with Toronto adding another goal, giving the club a 2-0 lead.
The goal came in the 47th minute from Maicon Santos when he struck the ball well from distance, making it slip it out of Conway’s gloves, and into the back of the net. This marks a third goal this season for Maicon Santos and will be remembered as a huge mistake from Conway.
Chicago was continuously on the back foot and slow off the ball up to the 62nd minute.
Following that, the Fire earned a free kick just outside the box. Marco Pappa stepped up to it and placed a shot beautifully just under the bar, cutting the lead in half.
Life immediately sparked back into the Chicago Fire. After a sequence of solid efforts, Corben Bone was able to spring down the right side and whip it across Toronto’s box. The ball slipped out of Frei’s hands into the feet of a sliding Barrouch who tallied his very first goal in a Fire uniform.
The momentum inevitably continued building. Corben Bone played a well driven through ball in the 83rd minute to Daniel Paladini but his desired chip was remarkably saved by Stefan Frei.
Chances came begging in the last couple of hectic minutes but both teams canceled out each others' efforts. The score stood at 2-2 and is quite unfavorable for either side. The win-less streak is now prolonged to seven games for the Fire while Toronto’s record in the Eastern standings isn’t much improved either.
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