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Chicago Fire 1, Toronto FC 3: First Thoughts

The Fire suffer their toughest loss of the season

MLS: Toronto FC at Chicago Fire Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Lineups:

Chicago: Lampson, Doody, Dean, Kappelhoff, Conner, Schweinsteiger, McCarty, Juninho, De Leeuw, Accam, Nikolic

Toronto: Bono, Zavaleta, Moor, Mavinga, Hasler, Morrow, Delgado, Bradley, Vazquez, Altidore, Giovinco

Pre-Match Thought: It’s curious to me that Christian Dean gets the start over Jonathan Campbell. The beard has been solid in his performances throughout the season, and I though Paunovic would reward him with a start tonight. Then again, he’s been experimenting with a lot of weird formations lately.

Kickoff!

1- Beautiful ball over the top for Nikolic from McCarty, but the Hungarian went too early and was offside.

5- McCarty steals the ball at midfield and springs David Accam. The Ghanaian is brought down by Michael Bradley, though.

5- Yellow Card - Michael Bradley goes into the book for that tackle on Accam

8- Conner misreads the flight of the ball and it bounces over his head. Morrow forces a save out of Lampson.

9- Lampson barely paws away the ensuing corner. TFC’s follow-up shot is cleared off the line by Nemanja Nikolic.

12- Doody picks out De Leeuw in the box, but The Lion was unable to anything more than head the ball over the goal.

14- Goal - TFC - Schweinsteiger was slow stepping up to force an offside, and Delgado taps in the rebound off of Lampson for an easy finish. Toronto leads 1-0.

17- Bradley gives the ball away carelessly at the top of the box, but Accam is unable to finish, hitting the ball wide of the goal.

19- Doody’s ball to the near post finds the head of Nikolic! But the Hungarian steers it wide of the far post.

20- Giovinco breaks away down the left side of the pitch, but Kappelhof was able to recover, eventually fouling the Italian international.

23- Michael Bradley tries to pick out Altidore, but the American striker wanders offside before the ball is played. Still 1-0 to Toronto.

24- Conner does well along the right hand side and picks out the head of De Leeuw at the near post! The Dutchman can only steer it into the side netting, though.

26- Kappelhof picks out Accam with a beautiful ball over the top, and Accam does well to hit a first-time volley on goal. The flag was up, though, as the Ghanian just went too early.

27- Schweinsteiger and Altidore getting into a little. Not quite sure why, but it sure is entertaining to see the German steamed!

29- Dan Kelly sharing that this is the first time the Fire have trailed at home since that 2-2 draw with Montreal. Wow.

30- Another ball over the top, another offside flag on King David. Sigh.

31- Conner goes down at the top of the box, but referee Jair Marrufo is having none of it. There wasn’t much to the challenge, to be fair.

36- Bradley sets Giovinco free with a perfectly weighted pass. The Italian does a bit of dancing, but the Fire’s defense eventually works it out and clears.

37- Juninho floats the ball to the back post towards De Leeuw, but Bono is able to claim easily.

39- The Fire are applying a good amount of pressure here. Accam gets another ball into the box, but no one is home at the back post.

40- Accam charges into the box, but his low ball to the near post can only pick out a TFC defender.

42- Dangerous stuff there. Altidore’s shot trickles to the near post, and rather than clearing Schweinsteiger decides to lay the ball off to Lampson. The goalkeeper tries to play out, but can only give the ball back to TFC.

44- Conner— who has really impressed since that mishap early on— charges into the box again. This time sending Morrow the wrong way and picking out De Leeuw at the back post. The Lion— who seems to head the ball more than anyone else on this team— is once again unable to do anything with the chance.

45- We’ll have one minute of added time for the first half.

45+1- There’s the whistle for half time!

Halftime Thought: All things considered, the Fire have looked decent. They looked dangerous going forward in the latter part of that half, just need to be a little more clinical with their finishing. Also, Christian Dean is earning his keep tonight. The big center back has been excellent defending in the air.

Kickoff! The second half is underway

46- Accam is dragged to the ground by Zavaleta, but the foul is somehow on him?? There may have been some slight jersey grabbing from Accam.

46- Note: Chicago has gone back to their classic 4-3-3 for the second half.

48- McCarty hits a strike from distance! Bono does well to get down to his lefthand side and make a save.

49- Phew. Kappelhof with a poor turnover that leads to a TFC chance, but Lampson does well to make himself big and comes up with a huge save for the Fire. Vazquez stays down with an injury for TFC.

51- The club is advertising for playoff tickets already... I hope that doesn’t doom us!

53- Vazquez comes trotting back onto the pitch, glad to see he has recovered from that Dean tackle.

54- GOOOOOOOOOOOAL CHICAGO FIRE! - An absolute blast from Schweinsteiger hits the post, and Accam scores on the rebound! What an absolute rocket from Basti, it deserved to go in. The Ghanaian gets his 13th goal of the season.

56- A poor turnover from Dean leads to a golden chance for Giovinco. Lampson comes up with a huge save on the Italian international!

56- Kappelhof fouls Giovinco on the rebound. A very dangerous free kick incoming.

58- The Italian puts the free kick on frame, but Lampson is able to punch it away.

58- Toronto is asking questions now. Chicago needs to be much better playing out of the back. Far too sloppy right on the moment.

59- Chicago Substitution - Luis Solignac comes on for Michael De Leeuw.

63- Goal - Toronto FC - Hasler nods home a free header at the back post. There was nothing Lampson could do about that, all three Chicago defenders around the TFC man didn’t feel like marking.

64- Chicago Substitution - Djordje Mihailovic replaces Juninho.

66- Accam and Schweinsteiger try to play a one-two on the top of the box, but Bradley reads it well and breaks up the attack.

67- Altidore’s square pass nearly picks out Giovinco at the back post. Conner does well to recover and prevent the goal! The Homegrown player has really impressed me tonight.

69- Nikolic nearly ends his drought! Bono does very well to save the Hungarian’s header at the near post.

73- Dax gets a couple stabs at the ball at the top of the box, but both times TFC manage to poke the ball away.

74- McCarty plays a beautiful ball over the top, but Bono is able to claim it just before Accam arrives.

74- Toronto Substitution - Jonathan Osorio replaces Victor Vazquez.

75- Yellow Card - Toronto - Zavaleta goes into the book for a foul on Mihailovic

74- Toronto Substitution - Steven Beitashour replaces Nicolas Hasler.

78- Dan Kelly reports that this is the highest attendance for a Fire match in Toyota Park history! Let’s hope they can turn it around for the fans.

79- Nikolic is flagged offside on a ball from Accam.

80- Toronto Subsitution - Tosaint Ricketts replaces Jozy Altidore.

81- Accam unloads a shot from the top of the box but Bono is able to palm it away from the goal. Strong hands from the TFC keeper there.

82- Chicago Substitution - Artuto Alvarez replaces Nemanja Nikolic. That’s 7 games without a goal now for the Hungarian.

83- All the cards are in play now. Both teams have used up their substitutions.

87- Giovinco draws a foul 25-30 yards from goal. Let’s see what the Italian can do from here.

88- The Atomic Ant sends the ball over the top of the bar. Chicago remains within striking distance, for now.

89- Ricketts lets fly from inside Chicago’s box, but can only hit the side netting.

90- Goal - Toronto FC - Giovinco puts this one to bed off of a square pass from Ricketts. Kappelhof fell asleep after committing a foul at the midfield line, and the Atomic Ant made him pay with a quick restart. 3-1 Toronto.

90+2- Alvarez isn’t ready to give up! He hits sharp strike but Bono is able to hold onto it.

90+3- There’s the final whistle! Sloppy mistakes cost the Fire a chance at regaining some ground in the Eastern Conference tonight.

Final Whistle Thought: Chicago’s struggles continue. They didn’t look up for the occasion tonight. Their nine-match home winning streak is over. Everything is broken.