Chicago Fire match goal total for season; knock off Toronto FC on road

Gonzalo Segares and the Chicago Fire weren't about to let Toronto FC pick up their first points of the season on Saturday afternoon.

Last August, a 2-0 win against Toronto FC was the catalyst for a late-season run that nearly catapulted the Chicago Fire into the 2011 MLS Playoffs.

Will an early-season win over one of their neighbors to the north have the same effect?

The Fire took the lead early, proceeded to cough it up, and then came from behind to defeat Toronto 3-2 at BMO Field. The three Fire goals matched the total number of goals they had scored in their first four MLS matches.

Only seconds into the match, winger Patrick Nyarko dispossessed German international Torsten Frings. The ball fell to striker Dominic Oduro, who was able to slot the ball past Milos Kocic to give the Men in Red (well, actually Toronto was wearing red and the Fire were wearing their new road blue uniforms) a 1-0 lead.

The 25thsecond goal was Oduro third of the season. It was also the fifth-fastest goal in MLS history and the fastest in Fire history.

Both teams pressured throughout the first half, but it was the Canadian side that struck next. In the 36th minute, after a Sean Johnson clearance, the ball fell to TFC midfielder Reggie Lambe, who launched a long-range effort from about 30 yards out that landed in the top left corner of the net.

It would only get worse for the Fire in the 40th minute. A defensive mix-up after a Ryan Johnson cross forced Johnson out of his net. The ball bounced to Lambe, who scored his second goal of the match and gave Toronto their first lead of the MLS season.

The 2-1 lead wouldn't last long, though.

Just a minute later, a Sebastien Grazzini free kick from the right side founded defender Gonzalo Segares in the box and he was able to flick the ball past Kocic to equalize the match at 2-2.


In the second half, the match continued to stay fairly open. But if would be the Fire who would break through a find the winner.

In the 58th minute, the Fire launched a counter-attack with Logan Pause finding Dominic Oduro in the middle. Oduro then turned provider for a streaking Patrick Nyarko. Nyarko beat the Toronto defense and was able to round Kocic and put his shot into the net to give the Fire the lead again at 3-2.

Toronto FC desperately searched for an equalizer and their first points of the season. In the 77th minute, substitute Julian de Guzman found the dangerous forward Johnson in the box, but his header went off the left post. Johnson was dangerous all game, taking five shots in the match, but none of them were able to find the target.

The home side continued to press forward, but the Fire defense came through and was able to hang on for a 3-2 win.

The Fire have now picked up half of their 8 points in Canada. They are at home next Saturday against reigning U.S. Open Cup Champions Seattle Sounders. With momentum finally on the Fire's side, they would love to gain a measure of revenge for last year's final heartbreak.

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