Fire Battle Back for 3-2 Win Over Earthquakes

The Fire wasted no time falling behind as Alan Gordon scored in the fourteenth minute despite a strong showing from the home side at Toyota Park.  The Fire would have no problem generating opportunities the rest of the way out against the San Jose squad without six of their players, including 2012 MLS goal-scoring leader Chris Wondolowski, but would still battle through adversity such as late own goal before sealing the victory.

Gordon’s goal came after his initial shot sit the crossbar and came down for him to finish on the header.  The Fire appeared to be unfazed, coming off strong in the next several minutes before finally breaking through in the thirty-sixth minute.  Segares passed to Duka, who put the ball on the air, and then scored on an awkward shot that bounced back up off the ground and over John Busch into the net to level the match at a goal a piece.

The match remained level heading into the second half, but it would not stay that way for long.  Duka would contribute to yet another goal, giving Nyarko right in front of the net, and as Nyarko was able to hold off the pursuit of a sliding defender, the Fire took a 2-1 lead in the match.

San Jose would not be able to put the ball in the net again in the match – they didn’t need to – but did equalize the match in the seventy-second minute when a ball that hit both Jalil Anibaba and Joel Lindpere found its way past Paolo Tornaghi, who will be the Fire’s primary keeper in Johnson’s absence due to national team duty in the Gold Cup.

One story line was missing heading into the final minutes of play, namely Mike Magee.  Magee had scored a goal in all of his first seven Chicago Fire matches (including three U.S. Open Cup fixtures), but to that point had yet to make it onto the scoresheet.  Ultimately the streak would end, as Magee did not score a winning goal.  However, Magee would pick up an assist on Chris Rolfe’s game winner.  Magee was in a position where many players would have taken the shot themselves, but Magee instead placed a perfect pass for Rolfe to put in.

The Fire are off from practice tomorrow for the holiday, which could prove vital as they play on short rest against Sporting Kansas City in an ESPN nationally televised game at 2:00 on Sunday.  The Fire then play a midweek friendly against the Mexican side Club America.

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