After hitting the post twice while the game was still scoreless, the Chicago Fire thought they were in a position to take three points on the road at New England on Saturday. Instead, they got burned for two late goals and suffered another defeat, their third in their past four games.
“For the first 70 minutes, we played some pretty good soccer,” midfielder Logan Pause lamented to MLSsoccer.com. “We created some pretty good chances.”
It was a lack of finishing killed the Fire in the end.
“Clearly we had four or five good opportunities, hit the post twice and we didn't capitalize,” head coach Frank Klopas said. “When you're on the road and you don't score, you miss opportunities.”
Highlights: Revs 2, Fire 0
Second half lapses
A four-minute stretch midway through the second half changed everything when Kelyn Rowe and Benny Feilhaber scored after cutting through the Fire defense.
“We [fell] asleep on … both plays,” Klopas said. “Just lack of focus and concentration on the road. The mentality is don't give anything away, but then we fall asleep and give up two silly goals so it's disappointing.”
After those two goals, the Fire had only a few half-chances.
“I think we threw the game away,” Patrick Nyarko said. “They didn’t go win the game. We made some mental errors and it cost us the game.”
End of a tough stretch
Including their stunning loss to the fourth-tier Michigan Bucks in the US Open Cup, Saturday's loss marked Chicago's fourth in their last five matches across all competitions in the span of two weeks. The Fire admit it's been a difficult stretch.
“We’ve had a couple of tough losses and it’s easy to get your head down,” Pause said. “It’s my role, and it’s important that we learn from it. We need to move forward and get ready for a big game [against New York] on [June] 17.”
Whether it was the amount of travel or disappointment from the emotionally draining USOC defeat, center back Jalil Anibaba thought something was missing for the Fire on Saturday.
“We’re normally a much tougher team to play against, and I don’t think that was true today,” Anibaba said. “I don’t think the competitive aspect was there, and that’s very disappointing from my standpoint.”