RECAP: Fire Defeat D.C. in Spite of Slow Start
The Fire got off to a poor start at D.C. United’s RFK Stadium on Friday, forcing goalkeeper Sean Johnson to make five saves in the first half alone, but rallied for two goals in two minutes en route to a 3-0 victory.
Coming into the match, the Fire were a road win away from occupying a playoff position. The home side, on the other hand, dwell at the bottom of the league table and far out of playoff contention despite having won the U.S. Open Cup championship over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday.
Despite trailing in the possession department 60.8%-29.2% in the first half, the Fire entered half-time with a 2-0 lead. Jeff Larentowicz picked up the ball in traffic at the front of Joe Willis’s net and shot it in to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the twenty-fourth minute of play. Before the goal was scored, D.C. had seemed to control the match, clearly out-playing Chicago and stopped only by the stellar play of Johnson. Just two minutes later, Bakary Soumare netted the first goal of his MLS career to lift the Fire to a 2-0 lead. D.C.’s Chris Pontius was brought into the match earlier than anticipated after John Thorrington suffered an undisclosed injury late in the half.
The Fire kept the 2-0 lead secure in the second half and utilized all three allotted substitutions. With Alex, Duka and Amarikwa replacing Nyarko, Rolfe and Anangono in the sixty-first, seventy-first and eightieth minutes, respectively, the team countered the entrances of Pontius and Dwayne De Rosario into the match for United.
Amarikwa added a third Fire goal in the 89th minute to finish the scoring. After the three minutes of stoppage time, the final whistle blew for a 3-0 Fire victory. Johnson was credited with nine saves in his stellar performance in goal as the Fire moved back into a playoff spot with three matches to play.
The Fire next play on Saturday, October 12 at FC Dallas’s Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The game will be televised on My50 Chicago and throughout the state Wisconsin on TWCSC Wisconsin. The match is scheduled to begin at 7:30 PM Central Time.