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Columbus Crew 3, Chicago Fire 1: First Thoughts

The Fire go down hard in Cow-lumbus in what might be their worst performance of the season

MLS: Chicago Fire at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Pre-Match Thought: After taking a look at the starting 11, Veljko Paunovic seems to have one thing on his mind: goals! The Fire’s head coach is rolling the dice and Solignac, Nikolic, Accam and De Leeuw are all in the starting lineup. Chicago better hope they have a strong start to the match.

Also, I’d just like to wish all our readers a happy, belated #WorldLionDay!

Kickoff!

1- Let’s see if the Fire remember how to play on the road.

2- Woof. Columbus wins a corner, but nothing comes of it.

4- The Fire’s slow start continues. A neat bit of passing down the right hand side from the Crew forces Meira to clear the ball out for a corner.

5- Phew. Kappelhof with a risky header there. The Dutchman played the ball right into the path of Artur, but the Brazilian couldn’t make anything of the chance.

6- Chicago earns their first corner of the game! But nothing comes from Patrick Doody’s ball.

11- Trapp is slow to get up after an awkward tumble. The Crew midfielder seems to be fine now, though.

12- The Fire are counting their blessings now. Chicago gives the ball away cheaply and Manneh’s cross into the box nearly found both Artur and Kamara.

13- GOOOOOOOOOOOAL CHICAGO! - The Lion has roared! Dax McCarty plays a lovely ball into the box, and for the second straight week, De Leeuw heads home a goal. The Men in Red lead 1-0!

15- Chicago is 12-0-2 when they’ve scored first this season. That’s the best of any team in MLS.

18- GOAL - That Yellow Team equalizes after an Artur shot hits Kappelhof, and Manneh reacts first on the rebound.

20- Accam goes down at the top of the box! But Armand Villarreal is having none of it—play on.

23- Lampson does well originally to come out of his box to clear, but said clearance goes right to Manneh, who nearly chips the former Crew player from 30-plus yards.

26- Yellow Card - Meira picks up a card for a professional foul on the speedy Manneh.

29- Accam does well to bring down a ball over the top, but is pushed off of it on the right flank by Williams.

33- More sloppy play from Chicago springs Meram down the left flank. Thankfully, Dax is there to put out the Fire.

37- Schweinsteiger (yes, he’s playing!) puts a ball into the box and it bounces dangerously at the back post. Sadly, no one was there to put it away.

40- With nothing interesting happening in the match, Columbus’ commentating team turns to discussing the size of Basti’s calves.

42- Corner to Chicago! Polster whips a ball in but its put behind by Columbus. The ensuing cross is easily caught by Steffen.

45+1- Halftime! All square at 1-1.

Halftime Thoughts: The traveling Chicago fans are loud! Even via the broadcast chants of “Chicago Fire!” can be heard throughout the stadium. Also, the Fire need to get Basti more involved. Good things come when you give the ball to the German.

Second half kickoff!

46- Columbus Substitution - Hector Jimenez replaces Harrison Afful.

48- Polster’s ball into the box is easily cleared by Mensah.

52- Polster does well to keep in a wild ball from McCarty. After some scrambling, the Fire are able to play out of the back.

53- Shot! Basti let’s fly on a laid off ball from Accam. Sadly, it landed closer to Germany than it did to the goal.

56- Manneh plays Artur into the box, but the Brazilian can only hit the side netting. It never was going to be an easy finish.

57- De Leeuw heads the ball off the line! Columbus creates a chance off of nothing following a poorly served corner.

58- Yellow Card - Meram picks up a caution for simulation after a blatant dive at the top of the box.

60- Chicago Substitution - Arturo Alvarez replaces Luis Solignac. Not the best of nights for the Argentine.

64- Accam finds Polster down the right hand side, but again, the outside back fails to deliver a decent cross.

65- Columbus Substitution - Cristian Martinez replaces Kekuta Manneh. The goal scorer leave the game a little gingerly.

67- Yellow Card - Mensah picks up a caution after sliding through the back of Accam. The Crew defender is now one yellow away from a suspension.

68- A cheeky set piece from Basti and Alvarez finds De Leeuw at the far post, but the Lion can’t get his body over it and volleys the ball high and wide.

69- Shot! King David dances into the box, but a deflection takes all of the sting out of his shot.

73- Goal - That Yellow Team. Meram taps home a lazily crossed ball, and Columbus leads 2-1.

73- Yellow Card - Polster picks up a caution for an off-ball foul before the goal.

77- Schweinsteiger slots Nikolic into the box, but the Hungarian can’t sort his feet out to get a shot away. The German is showing his frustration now.

77- Columbus marches down the pitch, and Kamara’s chipped shot lands on top of the goal.

78- Chance! Meram gets clean through on goal and puts his shot wide of the post. The Fire are struggling now.

79- Chance! De Leeuw really should have done better with that. Polster picks the Dutchman out at the back post, and he blasts the ball over the bar on an open shot.

81- Lampson comes up big! The goalkeeper comes out and quickly smothers another Columbus chance.

83- Chance! Doody’s floated ball to the back post finds the head of De Leeuw, but the forward fails to generate enough power to beat Steffen.

86- With just minutes remaining, the Fire could not looks less interested in this game. Complacency on the road is becoming a theme here.

87- Kamara picks the ball off of Schweinsteiger, and Lampson seems to get a touch on the ball when he comes sliding out. Villarreal seems to disagree and awards a penalty. Perfect opportunity to use VAR.

88- Goal - That Yellow Team. Kamara slots home a highly questionable penalty. Disappointed the referee failed to use VAR. Columbus leads 3-1.

89- Columbus Substitution - Adam Jahn replaces Justin Meram.

90- Chicago Substitution - Jonathan Campbell replaces David Accam.

90+1- Lampson passes the ball to no one and out for a corner.

90+3- There’s the whistle. Columbus comes out on top 3-1.

Final Whistle Thought: This was an extremely disappointing performance from Chicago. Their goal came completely against the run of play, and they could not have looked more complacent throughout the full 90 minutes.

Also, why did MLS implement VAR if it’s not going to be utilized in games like this? Villarreal may a poor decision and it cost the Fire any chance at a result tonight.