BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Chicago Fire defender Austin Berry was running toward the sideline when Marco Pappa’s back pass rolled behind him in the 16th minute of their 2-1 win over Toronto FC on Saturday night, rolling straight into striker Ryan Johnson’s gait.
Berry tried to sprint back to catch Johnson, but the Jamaican was able to slot a shot past goalkeeper Sean Johnson before the rookie came close.
“It was just a misplay,” Berry said. “I think it was a little bit of [miscommunication]. That happens in soccer.”
HIGHLIGHTS: CHI 2, TOR 1
Despite controlling 66 percent of possession in the first half, Pappa’s pass to Johnson’s feet was the only service from a Fire player that led to a goal.
As the half wound to a close, frustration began to visibly boil over. Head coach Frank Klopas banged the ad boards. Arne Friedrich waved his arms emphatically at teammates. Logan Pause barked orders.
“The problem was, we had ball possession, but in the final third we had to push more,” Friedrich said. “We didn’t score, and this is bad, especially when you are down one goal.”
But the pair involved in the errant back pass atoned for the costly error.
Pappa collected a misplayed touch from defender Logan Emory in the 64th minute before sliding a shot past three Toronto defenders.
Berry scored the game-winning goal in the 84th minute when he headed Pável Pardo’s free kick cross into the back of the net.
“It’s always nice to atone for my mistakes or someone else’s mistake,” Berry said. “I thought we stayed tight as a team, and we got the win.”
Pappa’s costly error led to chagrin in the first half. But redemption for that mistake had the Guatemalan smiling after the game.
“I think I made a good assist tonight,” Pappa told MLSsoccer.com with a laugh. “We’re professionals. We see our mistakes and we don’t make them again. It was a good feeling to score after that.”