BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Quincy Amarikwa made his way onto the 2013 Fire roster mainly by earning a late penalty kick in a preseason match vs. San Jose in February.
Having taken the train up from San Diego that day to meet the Fire in their camp base in Ventura, Calif., Amarikwa’s PK win, led to a Jeff Larentowicz finish and gave the Fire a 1-0 victory over the Earthquakes.
The same scenario nearly played out in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Philadelphia. Two minutes after coming on in the 84th, Amarikwa was put into the box on the left by Maicon Santos as Bakary Soumare made a desperate tackle to prevent a shot.
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The former Fire defender connected with both ball and player but referee Armando Villarreal correctly waved play-on.
“Those are the ones when it happens to you, you’re hoping it’s a PK and when it’s the opposite side, you’re saying it’s a clean tackle,” Amarikwa told Chiacgo-Fire.com. “He made a good last minute timing of the ball and got just as much of the ball as he did me so the no-call by the ref was justified.”
Amarikwa nearly equalizes in 95th minute
As the Union cleared the ball, Soumare seemed to take exception to Amarikwa going down in the box and chested the Fire forward as he attempted to run back into play.
“I got up and was trying to jog back. I think he thought I was elaborating a dive. I didn’t feel I was – I didn’t argue for a penalty but I think he was a little frustrated and acted out on that.
“It happens. Its up to the Disciplinary Committee to handle anything with that situation.”
As of Thursday, no penalty on the Soumare incident had been handed down and the Malian international went 81 minutes in the Union’s 4-1 home defeat to LA Wednesday night.
With the Fire still looking for an equalizer in the dying moments of Saturday’s game, Amarikwa came close again as he took an impressive one-time volley from the top of the 18 that forced a diving stop out Union ‘keeper Zac MacMath.
“I came on and tried to do what I could. I tried to sneak a goal in and we almost did it but it didn’t fall our way.”
The game marked his second substitute appearance for the Fire and the 25-year-old forward hopes the production in his short time on the field will gain him more minutes in Saturday’s return leg at PPL Park.
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“That’s what every player is hoping. When they show well they’ll be rewarded with more time. It’s not up to me. All I can do is perform well I go out there and train hard.”
After a dominating Fire performance that left the side scratching their heads as to how they lost, Amarikwa says the team is relishing Saturday’s return match in Philadelphia.
“This is a good opportunity that most teams don’t immediately get. We had the better chances on them on Saturday and didn’t win. It’ll be nice to have another go at them this weekend.”