Scoring chances weren’t abundant during the first half of the Chicago Fire’s eventual 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids on Sunday, and the Fire were OK with that.
Sure, Dominic Oduro broke through the Colorado defense on a pass from Marco Pappa in the 38th minute, only to have his shot saved by goalkeeper Matt Pickens. But for the most part, the Fire were happy to let the game come to them. The 0-0 halftime score wasn't a disappointment.
“We just needed to be smart and not waste our energy in the first minutes,” midfielder Patrick Nyarko told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “We did that well in the first half, and in the second half we went away from it and they punished us.”
HIGHLIGHTS: Colorado 2, Chicago 0
Chicago lost that discipline in the second half, according to captain Logan Pause, and that led to their undoing. In the 58th minute, Omar Cummings opened the scoring for Colorado, and Kamani Hill sealed the Fire’s fate in the second minute of injury time.
“I think the game was for the taking and I think in the second half we kind of lost our shape and discipline a little bit and we ended up getting punished,” Pause said.
When Chicago lost discipline, the players lost track of each other.
“We drifted from the game plan a little bit,” Nyarko said. “[Normally] we know where each other are supposed to be. The game turned into an open game, up and down, and in a place like this with the altitude and everything, that’s tough.”
Though the Fire’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end with the loss, their results through these first three games are nearly identical to their first three matches last season. And after that point in 2011, they went on a downward spiral after their first loss.
But Nyarko is confident that this team is different from last year’s group and simply need to stay the course.
“It’s just one game,” he said. “You look around the game, and Colorado is one of the toughest places to play in the league. We’re not going to go kill ourselves over this.”