For the second home match in a row, Chicago was a stoppage time penalty kick away from recording the team’s first win under Frank Yallop, but two weeks after Mike Magee was denied by Zac MacMath, sending the Fire and Union to a 2-2 draw, Juan Luis Anangonó also came up short. Putting a weak conversion attempt to just to the right of New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, the Ecuadorian striker allowed the Revolution to take a 1-1 draw out of Toyota Park, leaving the Fire with its sixth straight draw.
The save came when Revolution left back Kevin Alston, shortly after saving an Anongonó shot off New England’s line, saw red card when his hand ball in front of goal stopped Victor Pineda from converting into a vacated goal. Having seen goal scorer Quincy Amarikwa dismissed 17 minutes earlier, the Fire were on the verge of surviving a late disadvantage to claim its first win of the season. Instead, the team was left demoralized after a second late penalty save kept it out of the win column.
As has been the case during most of this six-draw run, Chicago was largely the better side throughout Saturday’s 90 minutes. They outshot the Revolution 17-4, keeping their visitors on the back foot throughout the first half. Even as New England improved in the second, the Revs were only able to put three shots on Sean Johnson. In contrast, Shuttleworth was forced into six saves to preserve the Revolution’s result.
Much of Chicago’s danger came from Amarikwa (right), who converted a Harry Shipp through ball in the 16th minute for his fourth goal of the season. Although the lead was pulled back 15 minutes later when Patrick Nyarko’s foul on Alston allowed Lee Nguyen to equalize from the spot, Amarikwa continued to trouble a New England defense that was missing José Gonçalves. Normal right back Andrew Farrell, moved into the middle, was unable to contain the Chicago workhorse, a disadvantage that nearly produced a goal for Shipp in the 27th minute.
That matchup made Amarikwa’s late dismissal all the more important. After replays showed the striker’s first half card for diving was harshly given, Amarikwa continued to give Farrell trouble. In the 73rd minute, however, a raised boot that exposed his studs to a bouncing ball drew an obligatory caution, one that sent Chicago’s most dangerous player to the locker room.
Up a man, New England nearly stole the match late, with an opportunity created by Teal Bunbury forcing Johnson into a great save on Chris Tierney. Come full time, however, the Fire were left with a familiar regret. Outplaying another opponent, given another chance to claim its first win, Chicago once again found a way to leave two points on the field. The Fire may have out-played New England, but they left the field with two fewer wins on the season.