MLS Snapshot: Columbus Crew SC 3-1 Chicago Fire

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The game in 100 words (or less): Kei Kamara just won’t stop scoring, as the striker tallied the eventual game-winner for Columbus today as the Crew defeated the Chicago Fire 3-1 at MAPFRE Stadium. The Crew took the lead just two minutes in when Federico Higuain scored from the penalty spot, but Chicago leveled just minutes later. That’s when Kamara stepped in, burying his 13th goal of the season, which is tops in Major League Soccer. As Chicago tried to mount a comeback, Jason Johnson received his second yellow of the match for a dive, subsequently being sent off. Columbus now sits second in the East.

[ VIDEO: An emotional Drew Moor reacts to All-Star selection 11 months after tearing his ACL ]

Three moments that mattered

2′ — Higuain puts Columbus ahead from the spot — Ethan Finlay was tripped up in the box by Chicago keeper Sean Johnson, earning a penalty kick for the Crew. Federico Higuain stepped up and scored, giving the home side an early lead.

17′ — Kamara scores…again — After the Fire found a quick equalizer, Kei Kamara did what he does best…score goals. The big striker got his head on a cross for a league-leading 13th goal, which turned out to be the game-winner.

50′ — Johnson sent off for Chicago after dive — Jason Johnson was booked in the first half for a foul, and that early card would cost him when he was sent off in the 50th minute. Johnson took contact but went down far too easily, as referee Chris Penso went gave him a second yellow for the dive, sending the striker to an early shower.

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Man of the match: Kei Kamara — The combination of Kei Kamara and Ethan Finlay has been absolutely deadly for the Crew this season, and both scored again tonight. Kamara gets the nod as Man of the Match because his goal was the winner.

LINEUPS

Columbus Crew SC: Clark, Klute (Barson, 72′), Parkhurst, Wahl, Francis, Trapp, Tchani (Saeid, 55′), Finlay, Higuain, Meram (Steindorsson, 81′), Kamara

Goals: Higuain (2′ PEN), Kamara (17′), Finlay (83′)

Chicago Fire: Johnson, Doody, Adailton, Gehrig, Polster, Accam (Igboananike, 71′), Watson, Cocis, Nyarko (Guly, 70′), Shipp (Fernandez, 84′), Johnson

Goal: Accam (9′)

Red Card: Johnson (50′)

MLS Snapshot: Houston Dynamo 1-1 Chicago Fire

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The game in 100 words (or less): Two teams struggling in Major League Soccer met at BBVA Compass Stadium, where the visiting Chicago Fire were able to take a point from a 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo. It was a tactical battle between managers Frank Yallop and Owen Coyle, as second half substitutes from both sides scored the goals. After Alex gave the Dynamo a lead, Patrick Nyarko drew Chicago level with less than 20 minutes to play, as the Fire did deserve at least a point from the match.

Three moments that mattered

4′ — Ball somehow stays out off Cocis’ shot — Razvan Cocis had a great opportunity to put Chicago ahead early into the match, but somehow his shot didn’t cross the line. Cocis connected off a corner kick, but his shot hit the bottom of the crossbar and bounced on the goal line before being cleared.

56′ — Alex opens the scoring for Houston — The Dynamo played a good combination of passes on the right side leading to a cross in the box from Brad Davis. The ball squeaked through to Alex, who tapped home at the back post.

72′ — Nyarko equalizes for Chicago — Patrick Nyarko hit the crossbar earlier in the match, and he finally got on the scoresheet in the 72nd minute. Nyarko’s first attempt to stuff home a cross was stopped, but he got his own rebound to give Chicago a point.

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Man of the match: Patrick Nyarko — Nyarko came on at halftime and ended up scoring the equalizer for Chicago. The Ghanaian was involved in the Fire attack throughout the second half.

LINEUPS

Houston Dynamo: Willis, Rodriguez, Horst, Taylor, Beasley, Lopez (Alex, 53′), Garrido, Clark, Davis (Miranda, 77′), Barnes, Bruin (Manotas, 78′)

Goal: Alex (56′)

Chicago Fire:  Johnson, Cochrane, Adailton (Ritter, 71′), Gehrig, Palmer, Johnson (Nyarko, 46′), Polster, Cocis, Shipp, Igboananike (Magee, 59′), Guly

Goal: Nyarko (72′)

MLS Snapshot: New England Revolution 2-0 Chicago Fire

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The game in 100 words (or less): The New England Revolution are winless (in six games) no more, after taking all three points off the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night. The Revolution, who last tasted victory on May 9, got goals from Diego Fagundez and Charlie Davies en route to a 2-0 victory and growing their hold on second place in the Eastern Conference from two points to five. The Revs went about their business without the services of Jermaine Jones, who will miss six to eight weeks following another operation to repair a sports hernia, while the Fire were once again without 2013 MLS MVP Mike Magee, who made his return from 10 months out of action just last week.

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Three moments that mattered

24′ — Shuttleworth closes down, saves Igboananike’s effort — Kennedy Igboananike was through on goal, one on one with Bobby Shuttleworth, after a looping through ball made its way into the Revolution penalty area. The Nigerian’s first touch was exquisite, but Shuttleworth came out quickly and made the save from a tight angle.

48′ — Fagundez slams the volley home from 18 yards — Take a bow, Fagundez, and step right this way to accept your Goal of the Week award. The corner kick bounded out of the Fire penalty box, where Fagundez waited, stalked and sized up the ball. What came next — a powerful side-volley will also be up for Goal of the Year.

50′ — Davies heads home Bunbury’s “shross” — One quickly became two for the Revs, who doubled their lead just two minutes later, thanks to the quick reflexes and heading abilities of Davies. Teal Bunbury’s shot/cross found Davies near the penalty spot, where the former (and future?) US national teamer headed home, leaving Jon Busch wondering where it all went wrong.

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Man of the match: Diego Fagundez — Not only was his game-winning goal of phenomenal quality, but Fagundez completed 92 percent of his attempted passes and contributed three key passes for goalscoring opportunities.

LINEUPS

New England Revolution: Shuttleworth, Woodberry, Farrell, Goncalves, Tierney, Dorman (Neumann 86′), Caldwell, Bunbury (Agudelo 69′), Nguyen, Fagundez (Rowe 73′), Davies

Goals: Fagundez (48′), Davies (50′)

Chicago Fire: Busch, Palmer, Adailton, Larentowicz, Gehrig, Cochrane (Johnson 64′), Cocis, Polster, Shipp, Guly (Amarikwa 77′), Igboananike

MLS Snapshot: Columbus Crew 2-2 Chicago Fire

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One game in 100 words: Calling this match a tale of two halves is fair by purely looking at the scoreboard. Two goals for the Crew in the first half. Two goals for the Fire in the second half. The resilience of Chicago was apparent when they came out in the last 45 minutes and looked determined to convert two consecutive scores, especially in the waning stoppage time minutes as Frank Yallop’s side absolutely dominated possession (nearly at 77 percent). Columbus is now two points behind the New York Red Bulls, the Eastern Conference’s third-place squad. At sixth place in the East, the Fire are situated one point above Toronto FC.

 

Goals

Columbus: Kei Kamara 8′, 55′

Chicago: David Accam 58′, Jason Johnson 90’+4′

 

Three moments that mattered

55’ — Kamara’s second for considerable 2-0 lead — Federico Higuain calmly set up this goal from a corner kick, curling his ball to the near post for Kevan George to leap and meet with his head. It wasn’t George who would convert it; his header skidded across the face of goal directly to Kei Kamara on the edge of the six-yard box. A simple headed finish capped the former Sporting KC man’s second goal of the match.

58’ — Accam capitalizes on deflection — Call it luck, but the Fire began to show some bite on the attacking end and were awarded for their endeavors with this goal. Forward Kennedy Igboananike trotted forward on his own through the Crew defense before reaching the end line and attempting to hit a clean cross toward frame. His effort deflected off the foot of defender Michael Parkhurst and looped over Emanuel Pogatetz, right to the head of David Accam for the close-range goal.

90’+4’ — Gehrig to Johnson levels it late — Fire defender Eric Gehrig sat just outside the box with space and time to aim his cross perfectly for substitute midfielder Jason Johnson. The Jamacian was far back in the penalty area, but he wound up and applied power to his header, which took one bounce and slipped past goalie Steve Clark for the late-gasp equalizer.

 

Lineups

Columbus: Kei Kamara (Aaron Schoenfeld 90’+1′); Steve Clark; Chris Klute, Michael Parkhurst, Emanuel Pogatetz, Waylon Francis; Tony Tchani, Kevan George, Ethan Finlay (Kristinn Steindórsson 75′), Federico Higuain (Ben Speas 87′), Justin Meram

Chicago: Kennedy Igboananike (Guly 83′); Jon Busch, Eric Gehrig, Jeff Larentowicz, Adailton, Joevin Jones, Razvan Cocis (Quincy Amarikwa 71′), Matt Polster, Harrison Shipp (Jason Johnson 67’), Shaun Maloney, David Accam

MLS Snapshot: Chicago Fire 1-2 Real Salt Lake

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The game in 100 words (or less): The best way to find success against Real Salt Lake when they’re playing in their tried-and-true 4-4-2 diamond midfield, as they have twice now this week, is to spread the field wide and use pace up and down the wings to make the defend against you in space. With an available David Accam (suspension), the Chicago Fire probably could have done that and thus, given the Claret and Cobalt problems on Saturday. Instead, Frank Yallop started Harry Shipp on the wing and striker Guly Do Prado as a No. 10 behind Quincy Amarikwa. If you’re familiar with any of those names/players, Yallop’s gameplan worked out about as well as it sounds on paper. Which is to say, pretty horribly.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of Week 10 ]

Three moments that mattered

13′ — Saborio hammers one past Johnson — Alvaro Saborio absolutely abused this ball from the top of the 18-yard box, but let’s give plenty of credit to 20-year-old Jordan Allen for the preceding run down the left wing and cross into the center. Luis Gil deserves a tip of the cap for the quick dummy and letting the ball run on to Saborio.

56′ — Fire defense falls asleep, Mulholland slots home — The passing sequence in the build-up to RSL’s second goal was practically mesmerizing, but tons of blame has to fall at the feet of the Fire defense, particularly Adailton and Harry Shipp, who chose the wrong time to take a mid-game nap.

88′ — Larentowicz converts from the spot — Nick Rimando saved Juninho’s penalty kick in the 93rd minute on Friday, preserving a 0-0 draw for RSL, but the all-time leader in shutouts in MLS history was unable to get a hand to Jeff Larentowicz’s spot kick in the 88th minute, giving the Fire a glimmer of hope with five minutes of stoppage time still to be played.

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Man of the match: Jordan Allen — The youngster picked up assists on both RSL goals and showed flashes of huge potential throughout his 65-minute shift. Easily the most impressive player on the field, which he might just have to replicate for the U.S. U-20 at this month’s World Cup in New Zealand.

LINEUPS

Chicago Fire: Johnson, Jones, Adailton (Johnson 84′), Larentowicz, Palmer, Maloney, Polster, Watson (Cocis 53′), Shipp, Guly (Agboananike 58′), Amarikwa

Goals: Larentowicz (88′)

Real Salt Lake: Rimando, Phillips, Vasquez, Olave, Beltran, Beckerman, Mulholland, Gil, Allen (Stertzer 65′), Saborio (Mansally 82′), Sandoval (Garcia 90′)

Goals: Saborio (13′), Mulholland (56′)