The Wait Continues: Fire 2, Union 2 - MLS #5, Recap

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Fire started strong with a Magee goal but poor defending leads to two Union goals in the first half. Anangono equalized late in the second half.

Even though the weather in Bridgeview was a little warmer, both teams came out stiff. The Fire maintained early pressure but no real chances came of it. The first thing that resembled a chance came in the 13th minute when Larentowicz lobbed a ball over the back line but Magee's acrobatic attempt failed to make any connection.  Philadelphia came out in a 4-3-3 as a result of the McInerney trade and looked lost in their formation.

The Fire took advantage of their early pressure when Amarikwa hustled down the left after his pressure won the ball from Okugo where he picked out Magee on the six for a tap-in after 16 minutes. It was almost 2-0 in 20th when Magee met a Shipp corner and nearly scored his second in four minutes. The Union's first chance came in the 23rd minute when some fancy footwork from Conor Casey led a layoff to Maurice Edu at the top of the box but his shot went well wide. Philadelphia tied things up against the run of play when Nogueria ripped a shot from 25 yards out out from a throw-in that deflected off of Hurtado. It fell to Edu and he made no mistake from 12 yards out placing it in the side netting.

The Union continued to be on the front foot and took the lead in the 39th minute when a Leo Fernandes free kick bounced on top of the six-yard box and into the far post. Harry Shipp then missed a good chance in the 42nd when some nice Nyarko work left him with a shot on top of the 18 that Shipp blasted over.

The Union made one change at half bringing on Sheanon Williams for Fabinho. Yallop made two substitutions in the 57th minute with Duka coming on for Shipp and Alex coming in for Watson. Shipp supplied his trademark corners but looked shaky for most of the game and needed to come off. Amarikwa had a great chance that came from a cross from a Palmer and Duka combination. He didn't make solid contact and MacMath easily held it. Sean Johnson had a shaky moment in the 68th minute when his clearance attempt deflected off of Nogueira but luckily it fell right back to Johnson.

Yallop made his final change in the 77th bringing on Anangono for Nyarko which moved Alex to the left and Duka to the right. Magee then dropped back into more of a playmaker role. The Union also brought on former Fire player Corben Bone for Fernandes. The Fire drew level in the 86th minute when a deep Magee free kick which found Anangono at the back post and his header floated into the back post.. That set off a frantic finish to the game with end to end chances with the best falling to Magee who blazed his effort over the bar. The Union brought in Antonie Hoppenot in the 88th minute as their final sub for Conor Casey who was a physical presence all game up top. Late into stoppage time, Magee lobbed a ball over the top to Anangono who was taken down by the Union defense which resulted in a penalty. Magee then stepped up to the spot but he was stopped by MacMath and again on the rebound which was the last kick of the game.

The game started with the Fire all over the Union and took an early lead. The Union responded well with two goals before halftime which shook the Fire's confidence. The game was rather sloppy and became wide open in the second half. Both teams had their chances but the best chance came to Magee who couldn't convert from the stop late in the stoppage time. The Fire are still looking for their first win.

One of the first things that Frank Yallop said post game was that the pitch was "difficult" and that "we need to sort that out." He also admitted to "having a pop at the guys at half time." He was happy with the response that he saw in the second half. When asked about set places, Yallop said it needs to be "cleaned up" and that the team has been working on their set piece defense while putting an emphasis on second balls. When he talked about trying to find his right team, Yallop said that "I'm still learning about the players, I'm still learning about the squad."

"You need to win at home to be a successful team. I hate to lose more than I love to win." Magee said after the game. "The first win is the hardest. The longer you go without winning, the confidence kind of goes down."

Larentowicz and Watson were paired together in the midfield for the first time during the game. Larentowicz called Watson "an honest guy. He's good to run all game long. He's been fantastic since he's gotten here." Watson said "Jeff did a good job. I was a little bit scruffy at times." He went on to say "I'm going to learn personally from this game moving forward. No matter where coach decides to put me, I'm going to do my best and give my all for the team and try to take something away from the game. I'm going to go home look at the game and see what I could have done better and learn from it." Matt praises the locker room by saying "I love it" and  "the guys have been great to be honest, obviously I came in after preseason and everyone just kind of took me with open arms."

Fire Starting XI: Johnson; Palmer, Hurtado, Soumare, Cochrane; Nyarko (Anangono - 77'), Larentowicz ( C ), Watson (Alex - 57'), Shipp (Duka - 57'); Amarikwa, Magee

Substitutes: Reynish, Ianni, Pause, Duka, Joya, Alex, Anangono

Union Starting XI: MacMath; Fabinho (Williams - 45'), Wheeler, Okugo, Gaddis; Carroll ( C ), Edu, Nogueira; Fernandes (Bone - 77'), Casey (Hoppenot - 88'), Le Toux

Substitutes: Blake, White, Berry, Williams, Lahoud, Bone, Hoppenot

Scoring Summary: CHI - Magee - 16' (Amarikwa), PHI - Edu - 32' (Nogueira), PHI - Fernandes - 39' (Unassisted), CHI - Anangono - 86' (Magee)

Misconduct Summary: CHI - Duka - 64' (Yellow), PHI - Bone - 86' (Yellow), PHI - Edu - 86' (Yellow), CHI - Soumare - 88' (Yellow)

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