Prematch thought: Richard Sanchez gets the nod in goal today. I know that the Fire already have this one tied up, but there is still a lot to play for here. During his midweek press conference, Nelson Rodriguez said that the club was behind Lampson. It’s interesting to me that they drop him to the bench tonight. Let’s see if Sanchez can live up to the hype he created for himself after his last start.
1- And we’re off!
1- Polster down early. Got tangled up on a tackle. He’s back on his feet now, though.
2- Goal - Houston Dynamo - Leonardo touches home a poorly defended long throw. Very, very poor from the Fire to start.
3- Honestly I’m so baffled that just happened. Leonardo didn’t even have to jump to get his head on that ball.
5- Fire are 0-8-3 when allowing the first goal this season. What a lovely stat to consider less than 5 full minutes into this match.
7- Nearly! A good ball into the box picks out Nikolic, but the Hungarian is unable to get enough on the ball to beat Tyler Deric.
8- Turf monsters have gotten the better of AJ DeLaGarza here. Houston’s outside back is in quite a bit of pain here.
12- Mihailovic looks sharp in the middle of the field so far. The youngster has really come into his own alongside McCarty.
13- Solignac down in a heap. Leonardo’s elbow caught the Argentine. A potential VAR review coming here?
15- Nikolic lazily gets caught offside. Needs to do a better job of getting himself into position to hold the ball up if the striker wants to help get his team back in this match.
16- Solignac does well to switch the ball to Polster on the right flank. However, the American’s cross takes a deflection and falls harmlessly to Deric.
17- UPDATE: The Crew have taken a 1-0 lead against NYCFC. The Fire really have something to play for now.
21- The Fire look really ... bad right now. It’s like they’ve forgotten that they are playing for a first round bye.
24- Have yet to see the Fire win a 50/50 ball. It’s going to be a loooooooooong game if things continue the way they are right now.
25- Alvarez picks Accam out at the back post! But the Ghanaian fouls Alibaba and the chance was lost.
26- Kappelhof sprays the ball over the head of Solignac. Nothing is going right for Chicago.
29- Solignac has been Chicago’s best player so far. Accam and Nikolic need to do more to get themselves involved.
32- Niko has scored 19 of his 24 goals at Toyota Park this season. Very surprising.
33- Accam should have scored! Deric stays big and the Ghanaian is unable to turn the ball into the net.
37- Things have really slowed down here. Not much to note in the last few minutes.
39- Alex picks out Quioto at the back post! He really should have scored!
43- Corner coming for the Dynamo. Alex steps across to serve the ball. Sanchez is able to punch away.
45- Three minutes of added time will be played here in the first half.
Halftime thought: meh.
46- And we’re off!
49- The Fire with a chance! Accam holds the ball up on the top of the box and lays it off for Solignac. The Argentine’s shot is blocked at the last second, though.
50- McCarty with another chance! Alvarez’s corner picks Dax out at the near-post, but Chicago’s skipper was unable to steer the ball on frame.
52- Former Fire defender Jalil Anibaba is owning Accam on the wing today. Anibaba has grown into quite the player since his time in Chicago.
53- Accam cuts the ball back fro Nikolic! But the striker sends the ball sailing into the stands.
54- Decision Day is fun. This is one thing that MLS has gotten right.
56- Vincent has been poor today. The sophomore left back has failed to beat the first defender with his crosses far too many times today.
58- Richard Sanchez comes up with a big save for the Fire! It really should be 2-0 to Houston right now.
59- Side note: the broadcast angle of Houston’s stadium is awful.
61- Nikolic’s ball into Solignac takes a deflection and almost falls for Accam. The Fire still look quite flat going forward.
62- Alvarez’s shot forces a save out of Deric! I withdraw my previous statement. Their is some bite to Chicago’s attack now.
63- Accam with another chance! The Ghanaian wiggled his way into the box but Deric’s slide cleared the ball out. Deric took a knee to the face on this one, hopefully he’s OK.
65- Deric is still down. I’m not sure they should let him continue. He looks awfully concussed to me.
66- Joao Meira comes on for Polster. It seems like Chicago will be switching to three-in-the-back.
67- Accam takes one-too-many touches again. He needs to shoot or pass once he beats the first defender from that angle in the box.
68- Goal - Houston Dynamo - Richard Sanchez can’t get down in time to keep Quioto’s strike out of the goal. It seems like Chicago will be playing during the midweek now.
70- <screaming inside> Everything is fine. Chicago is still in the playoffs.
71- Juninho comes on to replace Accam. Pauno is thinking ahead to the next match now.
75- Goal - Houston Dynamo - This one is done and dusted now. Wenger’s cross is easily tucked home at the back post by Manotas and Houston leads 3-0.
77- Chicago’s goalkeeping has been shambolic all season. More of the same today.
79- Oh hey this match is still happening. Mihailovic tries and plays Nikolic through on goal but Deric comes out quickly and smothers the chance.
80- Tyler Deric is wearing a baseball hat right now. EVERYTHING IS DUMB.
81- The Astros played yesterday, Deric! YESTERDAY.
85- Please, let it be over.
86- Niko hits the bar with a strike from distance! Just about sums up the Fire’s day today.
88- UPDATE: TFC has equalized at Atlanta. That leaves the Fire in the third spot in the east.
90+1- Alvarez’s free kick into the box hits the wall.
90+3- There’s the whistle!
Final Whistle Thought: Ugh. We’ll see you on Wednesday.