The Fire went into a packed B.C. Place having picked up at least one point in standings in nine of their last ten games, and left with their second straight loss, falling 3-1 to the resurgent Whitecaps.
The first half actually went quite well, as the Fire out-shot their Canadian opponent fourteen to eight, and actually held a majority of the possession with a 55% mark. Unfortunately, only three of those fourteen shots were on target, just one more than Vancouver’s two as the Whitecaps were able to do more on the counterattack. Magee and Rolfe generated chances, including an excellent opportunity for Rolfe in just the second minute of play that was fought off by Vancouver goalkeeper Brad Knighton.
The second half did not go quite as well, as the Whitecaps took complete control of the game and Camilo took advantage of shaky defending twice in a stretch of five minutes, scoring in both the sixty-sixth and seventy-first minutes. The pair of goals put him ahead of Mike Magee and Marco Di Vaio for the league goal-scoring lead. Kekuta Manneh struck in the eighty-fourth minute to put to bed whatever small hope the road side had. Patrick Nyarko would find the back of the net in the fourth minute of stoppage time to break the shutout after Maicon Santos shot it off the goalpost, but the damage had been done and the Fire would head back to Chicago empty-handed and still in need of points to break through into the fifth playoff spot.
According to ESPN Gamecast, Maicon Santos’s average field position was actually inside of Knighton’s six-yard box, whilst Quincy Amarikwa was the next furthest up. Newly signed defender Shaun Francis took the place of the suspended Gonzalo Segares, and had a very shaky outing, but actually spent much of his playing time ahead of midfielder Jeff Larentowicz. Dilly Duka continued to be a force, playing as far up as Mike Magee and actually further up than Chris Rolfe. Perhaps the reason the Fire’s defense was so easily broken apart by Camilo was over-agression on the back line, with Jalil Anibaba’s average field position actually being half-way up the pitch.
Despite the poor second half, the Fire still did manage to out-shoot Vancouver 25-19, but only put 20% of their shots on target while Vancouver managed a much more impressive 36.8%.
The Fire head back home to Toyota Park to take on D.C. United on Saturday at 7:30 PM in a game that will broadcast by My50 Chicago. D.C. has won just two games this season, tied with Toronto FC for the least in the league, and sits dead last in the Eastern Conference, but the Fire must not overlook their opponent, especially not after two straight losses.