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NYCFC 2, Fire 1: First Thoughts

The Fire can’t take advantage of their man advantage, and fall to New York City

MLS: Chicago Fire at New York City FC Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
  • It’s been too long. So excited to be back.
  • Another chance for the Fire to prove themselves on the road. NYCFC at Yankee Stadium will be a good test for them.
  • Looks like Accam is on the bench, and no Dax due to international duties. We’ll see how that affects the midfield.
  • ***BREAKING*** - BRANDON VINCENT INJURED IN WARMUPS. REPLACED BY MICHAEL HARRINGTON.

FIRST THOUGHT: Potential playoff matchup here with two top Eastern Conference foes. Let’s hope the time of hasn’t messed with the Fire’s momentum.

KICKOFF!

1 - So it’s Polster flipping to LB, and Harrington slotting in at RB.

2 - The field is extremely narrow today. It’ll be interesting to see how they settle in on this much smaller pitch.

4 - Schweinsteiger loses possession, and Kappelhof seemingly commits a penalty in the box, but it’s not called! Fire escape with that big decision from the referee!

7 - NYCFC controlling a good bit of the possession here; few offsides for each team as they settle in.

8 - YELLOW CARD - NYCFC - HERRERA - Joao Meira taken down from behind and he’s rolling on the floor in pain.

10 - New York City really suffocating the Fire so far, no space for Chicago to even get into their half. It’s going to be a game of patience as they wait for a window to open.

12 - The pitch is very choppy today. Not overly pleased with having to play this road game against a good team on a bad field.

12 - SECOND YELLOW CARD - NYCFC - HERRERA - Herrera is sent off! He stamped on Basti’s foot and just changed the game!

14 - Still can’t believe Herrera did that. Complete lack of awareness.

15 - BIG SAVE from Lampson! Used his legs to deflect away a good attacking move from NYCFC!

16 - Juninho takes a shot, and pulls it wide. Worth an effort at this point.

18 - So far, New York don’t look like a team that’s down to 10 men. Fire need to press a bit more, I reckon.

21 - Haven’t seen enough from De Leeuw in that attacking midfield role. He could assert himself a bit more here.

27 - Fire chances are growing in number now, I can see a goal in the future...

32 - Chicago finally win a corner. Need to be MUCH more clinical with these set pieces. DIRECT DELIVERY PLEASE!

34 - A really scary head to head collision between Sweat and Brilliant. It looks like Sweat got the worst of it, obviously hoping that he’s okay. Head injuries are not to be taken lightly.

37 - NYCFC SUBSTITUTION - Mikey Lopez comes on for Ben Sweat.

40 - One of the only criticisms I have of Matt Polster is his maddeningly unnecessary cut backs. He’s past the defender and cuts back into him and loses the ball.

42 - Alvarez hoys a ball into the box and nearly puts it in at the back post! Johnson taps it over for a corner.

44 - YELLOW CARD - FIRE - MEIRA - Catches the back heel of Villa.

Four Minutes Added...

48 - Soli wins a brilliant corner, but the Fire waste it yet agai49 - Offsides, Nikolic.

HALFTIME THOUGHT: Not the effort I was expecting with New York City down a man. Need to force it more in the second half.

HALFTIME THOUGHT #2: Also, Harrington hasn’t cost us a goal, so that’s good.

SECOND HALF KICKOFF!

46 - CHICAGO SUBSTITUTION: Accam comes on for Solignac.

47 - Accam and Niko already doing a bit of give and go...just miss out on an attempt.

47 - GOAL, NYCFC. DAVID VILLA, BECAUSE WHY NOT? - Really inexcusable as Lampson had no chance of seeing the shot, the defenders can’t get a touch on it, and it is smashed into the back left corner. 1-0, NYCFC.

49 - GOAL, NYCFC - BRILLIANT. Blegh. Set piece, defended poorly, and Brilliant gets a second shot at an opportunity and heads it past 5 Fire players.

54 - GOAL! EL FIIIIIIRE!!!! BACK IN BUSINESS, BABY! After a corner delivery from Alvarez, Juninho keeps the ball in the attacking portion of the pitch, and Accam finds it at his feet. King David SMASHES a shot, which may have gotten just a slight touch on it, but it hits the underside of the bar and crosses the line!

55 - CHICAGO SUBSTITUTION: Mihailovic comes on for Matt Polster.

57 - Fire playing a 3-4-3 now as they push for the tying goal and possibly a go-ahead by the end of things?

60 - Fire pushin’ here...this is gonna be a fun 30 minutes!

60 - YELLOW CARD - NYCFC - JOHNSON - Time wasting, already!

61 - YELLOW CARD - FIRE - KAPPELHOF - This is in a VERY dangerous position...maybe look for a counter attack here?

64 - Alvarez JUUUUUUUUUST misses the upper 90 there...Fire getting closer. 75’ is my target for getting the equalizer so we can kick on and win this thang!

65 - ALMOST, AGAIN! Alvarez making men miss and Niko NEARLY scores!

66 - Alvarez is playing out of his mind right now. Creating brilliant chances.

68 - Get Daniel Johnson on! Come on, Pauno!!!

69 - Accam finds the ball close to the goal and just can’t steer it on target.

70 - CHICAGO SUBSTITUTION: Daniel Johnson on for MDL.

71 - NYCFC SUBSTITUTION: Sean Okoli on for Jonathan Lewis.

72 - Our set pieces are embarrassing.

77 - These shots outside the box aren’t challenging Sean Johnson — we really need to get some better looks moving forward.

82 - Daniel Johnson smashes a cross that fizzes past the goal and no one can get on the end of it.

83 - YELLOW CARD - NYCFC - HARRISON - Spun down Accam as he was running towards the box.

86 - Accam draws another free kick and there’s a bit of a scuffle between he and Villa now...

88 - Juninho takes the vital free kick and can’t find a way to curl it in the near side post.

Three Minutes Added...

90+2 - Accam drives on the ground but can’t get it past Johnson! One or two more chances left here...

90+2 - POST! Juninho hits the bar with a rocket shot and Alvarez just misses the goal on the rebound.

90+2 - NYCFC SUBSTITUTION: Kwame Awuha comes on for David Villa.

FINAL THOUGHT: Frustrating, for the first time in quite a while. The Fire were given a great advantage on the road, but NYCFC didn’t quit and found themselves up 2 goals in the second half. Paunovic will be expecting much more from his men the next time out.