BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Bobby Shuttleworth proved the hero as his late penalty save earned the New England Revolution a 1-1 tie to extend the Chicago Fire’s run without a win to seven games.
In front of 15,743 at Toyota Park, the Revs No. 1 goalkeeper denied substitute Juan Luis Anangono from the spot in the 90th minute and Jeff Larentowicz’s follow up to prevent the Fire from claiming their first victory of the season. Kevin Alston had handled a goal-bound shot from Fire substitute Victor Pineda to give Chicago the golden opportunity for the three points in a match that saw both teams finish with 10 men.
The Fire retained the same starting line-up that tied 1-1 at Montreal Impact last week while the Revs made one change from their 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. Darrius Barnes came in at right back with Andrew Farrell switching to the center in the absence of the injured Jose Goncalves.
The Fire took the lead in the 16th minute when Harry Shipp’s incisive ball from near midfield found Amarikwa between Barnes and Farrell, and the Fire striker stayed strong to slide the ball under the advancing Shuttleworth for his fourth goal of the year.
The Fire missed a great chance to double their advantage in the 27th minute when Nyarko forced Shuttleworth into a save from close range before Larentowicz dragged his shot wide on the follow up.
Chicago, just as they have done in previous games, were the masters of their own downfall as the visitors equalized against the run of play in the 29th minute. Nyarko clumsily bundled the marauding Alston over in the box, and Lee Nguyen kept his nerve in front of the Fire faithful to convert the resulting penalty low to Sean Johnson’s left.
The Fire’s hopes of claiming a first win of the season were dealt a blow in the 73rd minute when Amarikwa, who was booked in the first half for diving, was shown a second yellow card for a reckless challenge on Andy Dorman.
Despite being a man down, the Fire continued to search for the winner and almost broke through when Mike Magee hit the post on a low shot late. Alston then handled Pineda’s rebound shot in the 90th minute, earning the Revolution defender a red card and giving Chicago a penalty kick that Anangono fire far too close to Shuttleworth.
Next up for the Fire is Real Salt Lake at Toyota Park on May 3, while the Revolution host Sporting Kansas City on April 26.