MLS Snapshot: Chicago Fire 3-2 Toronto FC

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The game in 100 words (or less): These are not my Chicago Fire. This was a thrilling game full of end-to-end soccer, five goals and three lead changes. Chicago Fire soccer is not supposed to entertain me in this way. OK, on a serious note, the Fire were really good in this game. The resilience on display after the game went from 1-0 to 1-2, to hit back two minutes later after going down and find not just an equalizer, but a winner as well…well, that’s the kind of thing playoff teams do.

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Three moments that mattered

14′ — Jones scores from a tight angle, outside-of-the-foot style — Joevin Jones had himself a first half. Shaun Maloney’s through ball set up the Trinidadian left back for his first MLS goal, which Jones took so classily with the outside of his left foot, from a really tight angle which was made even tighter by an onrushing Joe Bendik.

54′ — Cheyrou finishes Giovinco’s masterpiece — So, Sebastian Giovinco, huh? The $35-million Italian playmaker is pretty easily the best player on show every time he takes an MLS field. His delicate, pinpoint, outside-of-the-foot cross, through traffic, for Benoit Cheyrou is one of the best passes to set up a goal you’ll see all year.

68′ — Larentowicz’s free kick is the game-winner — They don’t always have to be pretty, you know. Even the ugly goals count the same as their majestic counterparts. Jeff Larentowicz’s free kick from just outside the penalty area wasn’t ugly, per se, but it wasn’t the classic up-and-over-the-wall job everyone loves seeing, either. Regardless, it sealed the Fire’s second-straight victory, so it’ll go down as a beauty in Fire fans’ hearts tonight.

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Man of the match: Shaun Maloney — The Scottish DP midfielder bagged his first MLS goal and assist in this one. The assist gave the Fire an early lead, while the goal was the equalizer two minutes after Cheyrou gave TFC the lead.

LINEUPS

Chicago Fire: Busch, Gehrig, Larentowicz, Adailton, Jones, Shipp, Polster (Perez 88′), Stephens (Ritter 8′), Accam, Maloney, Amarikwa (Igboananike 74′)

Goals: Jones (12′), Maloney (56′), Larentowicz (68′)

Toronto FC: Bendik, Morgan (Lovitz 88′), Morrow, Hagglund, Creavalle, Cheyrou, Bradley, Osorio (Dike 81′), Findley (Jackson 71′), Altidore, Giovinco

Goals: Giovinco (20′), Cheyrou (54′)