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New York Red Bulls 1, Chicago Fire 2: First Thoughts

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The Fire pull off an improbable away win

MLS: Chicago Fire at New York Red Bulls Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Red Bulls 1 Wright-Philipps 80’

Chicago Fire 2 Katai 30’, Nikolic 69’

  • Lineups are here!
  • Pregame thought 1: ... huh. Pauno made slightly better choices. Tchani and Gordon on the bench, replaced by Mo Adams and Elliot Collier. Katai back in the Starting XI. Ellis at fullback. I... don’t hate this lineup!
  • Pregame thought 2: RBNY are pushing their partnership with Autism Speaks for this game. Here’s a helpful infographic for why you shouldn’t support that organization.
  • Pregame thought 3: I really wish leagues would be honest about kickoff times for national broadcast games. Don’t say 2:30 when you really mean 2:55.
  • Pregame thought 4: Anyway I’m expecting a loss and am anxious to be proven wrong.
  • Let’s goooooooooooooooooooooooo
  • 4’ Fire seem lively so far. More so than last week, anyway.
  • 6’ Haha Robles handles the ball outside the box and the ref does nothing about it. Oh well!
  • 10’ Collier played through by Niko but he’s flagged offside.
  • 14’ Red Bulls come close to scoring but Ellis gets it out for a corner kick. Rumors of the Fire’s recover miiiight have been exaggerated.
  • 17’ Basti and Murillo knock heads. Both players go down, play is stopped. Everyone seems to be okay now?
  • 19’ BWP cracks a half-volley shot at the top of the box, Sanchez can’t get to it but it sails over the bar.
  • 22’ Niko wins a FK, nothing comes of it.
  • 24’ The announced lineup showed a 5-3-2 but this looks more like a 5-2-3. Katai just not content to sit in midfield.
  • 27’ Kaku with a shot on goal but Sanchez pushes it out for a corner. The corner comes to nothing.
  • 28’ Oh baby, Niko leads a 3-on-2 counterattack and lays the ball off to Katai in space. Katai cracks one off and Robles has to leap to save. Good stuff from Chicago just now.
  • 30’ GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL KATAI SCORES OFF THE CORNER KICK!!!! NYRB 0-1 CHI
  • 31’ So pretty much the corner kick was successfully repelled but Katai caught the ball on the rebound and hit a half-volley shot, sending it past Robles into the upper corner of the net. It was gorgeous.
  • 32’ lol one of the Univision English commentators said it was the best MLS goal he’d seen so far and his broadcast partner was all “ok but Zlatan tho”. eyeroll.gif
  • 35’ I am not sure what just happened but Sanchez just made one of the best saves I’ve ever seen. Wow. Seriously, wow. See for yourself.
  • 39’ Man, the Fire are playing really well today! It’s almost like when you give your talented players minutes they’ll come through!
  • 42’ hahahahaha Katai almost got his second goal, should’ve finished there.
  • 44’ Fire break up an attack in the box but then try to be clever and break out. Lillard taking that highway to the Danger Zone there.
  • 46’ Katai leads a promising counterattack but it fizzles out.
  • 47’ And then soon after BWP nearly levels. Woof.
  • Halftime! NYRB 0-1
  • Halftime thought: Not bad! Not bad at all! RBNY are going to come out hangry for the second half and I’m not sure how the Fire will deal with that and close it out. Prove me wrong, kids! Prove me wrong.
  • Second half is underway!
  • 46’ No substitutions. Pauno sticking with this setup for now.
  • 50’ After a quiet few opening minutes Katai tries to get to a ball that drops in front of him but it’s juuuuust too far. Robles picks it up and the attack falls apart.
  • 53’ Murillo tries to do what Katai did in the first half off of a corner kick, but Sanchez manages to save it.
  • 55’ Ooooooof a cross slips past Sanchez and flashes across the face of goal. No one for the home team was close enough to capitalize and it rolled out into touch. Still, yikes.
  • 57’ Sanchez comes up big once again to snuff out BWP’s ambitions. God, I never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness for Richard Sanchez.
  • 62’ Royer hits a shot past Sanchez but hits the woodwork. Moments later Kaku has a go but Sanchez manages to save. Going to be honest here, friends: I’m smelling an equalizer.
  • 68’ PENALTY. Katai is clean through on goal and Robles trips him up. Doesn’t even argue the call. Pretty clear DOGSO but the ref gives a yellow. Whatever.
  • 69’ GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL NIKO CONVERTS! NYRB 0-2 CHI
  • 71’ Soon later Royer puts the ball in the net on the other end but the offside flag goes up. They’re reviewing it on VAR but this shouldn’t count.
  • 72’ Nope, no goal. NYRB getting feisty now as they try to fight back.
  • 75’ Alan Gordon, Noted Homophobic Slur Enthusiast, checks into the game for Elliot Collier.
  • 76’ Sanchez makes another big save off a shot from Etienne.
  • 77’ Aaaaaand the Twitter stream goes down. Womp womp.
  • 80’ GOAL I didn’t see it because the stream is down, but according to MLS Matchcenter BWP just got the home team on the board. NYRB 1-2 CHI
  • 83’ Katai clocks out for the day, replaced by Campos.
  • 88’ Ugh, this is going to be murder on my blood pressure.
  • 89’ Campbell replaces Niko. Hunkering down to get the win here.
  • 90’ Basti with a nice turn there to keep the ball in the Fire’s defensive third. Four minutes of stoppage time.
  • 92’ Mo Adams booked for a professional foul on... someone, it doesn’t matter. Atta boy!
  • Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! Final score: NYRB 1-2 CHI
  • Final Whistle Thought: Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

Stay tuned for more postgame coverage and a full recap here on Hot Time In Old Town. In the meantime, join the conversation in the comments or on social media.