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Fire 2, Galaxy 2: First Thoughts

Fire jump out to an early 2-0 lead; falter down the stretch and settle for a 2-2 draw

MLS: Chicago Fire at Los Angeles Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
  • Harrington (and Bava) out of the starting lineup. *Dancing in the Street by Van Halen plays*
  • DMC had a great performance last week vs. his old club, let’s see if Juninho can match it.
  • Also: “Bastian Schweinsteiger, Chicago Fire midfielder, throws out first pitch for World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.” What a time to be alive.

FIRST THOUGHT: START. EARLY. The Fire looked really good last week, but goofy mistakes cost them. If we can get on the board early, I think we can take all 3 points!

KICKOFF!

3 - Accam tries to get behind the defense and he’s offside. The last 2 matches, that’s been the first option -- Accam bursting down the left wing.

5 - Rowe with a really horrendous goal kick and the Fire get their first glimpse at a chance.

8 - Fire with some really great build up play, Juninho with a nice shot. Should have been a corner, but it’s ruled a goal kick.

11 - PENALTY! - Accam great give and go with Niko, who takes an extra touch and is clearly tripped by Van Damme.

12 - GOAL! FIRE!!! - BUT WAIT, NO GOAL! We’ll redo it as the ref says a Fire player entered the box too early (hot garbage).

13 - GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLL, BABY, GOAL!!!! FIREEEEEEEEEEEE LEAD 1-0! Finally, Accam’s second penalty is good and the Fire take an early lead.

14 - Zardes had a great chance for the Galaxy just a minute after the Fire score. Gotta be careful here.

16 - It’ll be interesting to see how the Fire play with a lead on the road. Need to keep pushing for a second, while staying organized at the back.

16 - WELL THAT WORKS! FIRE LEAD 2-0!!!!! NIKOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

16 - That was brilliant. Vincent to Dax, who puts a perfectly weighted pass to Accam, and Nikolic has an EASY job against Rowe, who was way too far off his line.

21 - Not to take ANYTHING away from this tremendous start, but LA looks terrible so far; they can’t even string two passes together. I honestly don’t see them putting up much of a fight here.

26 - Galaxy won their first corner as Allesandrini got behind Conner, who DID recover well.

28 - Seriously, someone get a vacuum and get this confetti out of here. It looks like someone just got married or had a prom or something.

31 - Vincent just made a mistake for the first time in what feels like over a month. It didn’t cost us, but it reminded me how far he’s come and how solid he’s been at the back lately.

32 - Early sub, Van Damme coming off. Interesting note: if you add his Galaxy & Belgium International appearances, they equal 66 — the same number of movies Jean Claude Van Damme has appeared in.

37 - Whoa baby! Nikolic nearly GIVEN a goal from Rowe, who has played a hot mess of a game so far.

40 - Hey guys, Jermaine Jones is SICK AND TIRED of being blamed when LA loses, okay?! Give him a break. (To be fair, he took a nasty fall on that play.)

42 - Big development, the Galaxy have been forced to make 2 substitutions in the first half. Bodes well for the Fire towards the end of the match. (JJ coming off for Boateng.)

44 - Juninho nearly given a penalty, but he’s an inch outside the box. Free kick upcoming.

45+5 - Galaxy had some late opportunities but the Fire shut ‘em down and are up 2-0 going into the half!

HALFTIME THOUGHT: The Galaxy had only scored 8 goals in 8 matches coming into tonight. They desperately needed to keep this thing close early on, and when the Fire scored two quick goals, it crushed any hope of LA building confidence. Tremendous start by Pauno’s boys.

47 - Ruh-roh...Meira down in agony, grasping his left knee...and he’s fine. I gotta say...I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’...

51 - The Fire are TCB at the back. Very encouraging performance from the back 4 tonight.

53 - Accam. Brilliant. Nearly scored, wreaking havoc on anyone in his way.

56 - GOAL - GALAXY. - Lots of defenders standing flat footed on that corner kick delivery. Lampson never saw the ball at all.

57 - Galaxy media crew apparently think this is a rock concert, so they decided to turn all the lights off and shoot off flares. I’m going to side with World Cup winning midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who picked up the ball and was having none of that nonsense.

59 - YELLOW CARD - BRANDON VINCENT.

60 - LA is really pressing high up the pitch, the Fire players are leaving a lot of space between midfielders and the defense. They need to focus and start playing more aggressive again.

64 - In an attempt to wrangle back control of this game, Paunovic has put Accam on the right wing and moved Solignac to the left side. We’ll see if it’s effective...

65 - GOAL. GALAXY. - Uggggghhhhhhhh. Another set piece goal, Vincent not marking dos Santos and he makes them turn the dang lights off again. 2-2.

67 - This game ‘bout to open up in a big way. Two chances back and forth over the last 30 seconds.

68 - Michael de Leeuw coming on here for...wait, what? for David Accam... No bueno IMO... (or Accam’s from what I’m seeing)

72 - Again, the Galaxy with a free kick and they nearly score again. Need to tighten that up this week in training...

74 - YELLOW CARD - ALESSANDRINI - Floppin’ like a fish out of water.

75 - Drew Conner coming in favor of Jonathan Campbell. Decent first start at RB.

76 - Good life, Fire can’t catch a break — Lucio heads one off the bar...nearly a goal.

79 - Zardes just heads the tiebreaker wide to the left. Not really sure how he missed that...

83 - Another good chance for the Fire. I can see this one ending 3-2...just not sure what side is going to get that 3rd goal...

89 - Final sub as Juninho comes off for Alvarez.

90 - YELLOW CARD - SCHWEINSTEIGER. - Maybe a bit of frustration, as he drags his opponent to the ground.

4 minutes added...Pauno is SCREAMING at his side for a late goal here...

90+4 - Nikolic scores...offside. And that’s all she wrote.

FINAL THOUGHT: Frustrating. No excuse. Up 2-0, the Fire HAVE to find a way to finish this off with 3 points in the bank. Frustrating. Also, now I want to watch Bloodsport.