BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Chicago Fire battled to a 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution on Saturday at Toyota Park.
Playing with all of their three Designated Players healthy and in the starting lineup for the first time since May, Chicago out-shot the defending Eastern Conference Champions 13-4. However, a late goal from the Revolution rallied their side to a 2-2 draw.
As the Fire continue their push to move back into MLS Cup Playoff contention, having their full allotment of DP’s on the field was a welcomed sight. Shaun Maloney scored in his first MLS appearance since May 30. The Scottish international suffered a bulging disc in his back during the club’s 1-0 win against Louisville City FC in U.S. Open Cup action on June 16. Maloney started alongside Kennedy Igboananike and David Accam for just the fourth time this season, with the Fire unbeaten at 1-0-3 during that stretch.
Frank Yallop Postmatch Reaction
The Fire had the game’s first golden chance midway through the first half. Harry Shipp whipped a corner into the middle of the box and Razvan Cocis made a play on the ball. The Romanian midfielder got the first touch and was on the doorstep with an open look at the frame, but he slipped and the ball rolled out of bounds for a Revolution goal kick.
Lee Nguyen netted the game’s first goal in the 28th minute. Scott Caldwell sent a cross in front of the goal and Sean Johnson parried it away, but right into the path of Nguyen, who slotted his shot into the open net.
Chicago responded with a chance to equalize four minutes later. Maloney took a pass from Shipp near midfield and then lofted the ball upfield to the feet of Accam. The Ghanaian beat his defender, but couldn’t get much behind his shot after a second defender closed down his space at the top of the box. Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton smothered the shot, ending the quick counter-attack from Chicago.
The Fire found an equalizer just before the break. Accam drew a penalty after getting tripped by Revolution defender Jose Goncalves inside the box and Maloney buried the ensuing spot kick for his second goal of the season.
Cocis gave Chicago the lead in the 75th minute. The sequence started with a corner kick and Joevin Jones striking a shot on target that was blocked by a Revolution defender. Matt Watson had the next go, crushing a low-driven shot toward the far post. Knighton dove and got his hands on the shot, but the rebound fell to Cocis for an easy tap-in.
Kelyn Rowe scored the equalizer two minutes later. Chris Tierney sent a cross in front of the goal’s face and past Fire defender Adailton, setting up an easy finish for Rowe from close range.
The Men in Red return to action on Sunday, Aug. 2 against FC Dallas at Toyota Park. Kickoff is 6 p.m. CT on FOX Sports 1.
MLS Regular Season
Chicago Fire (5-11-4, 19 pts.) 2:2 New England Revolution (7-9-7, 28 pts.)
July 25, 2015 – Toyota Park
NE – Lee Nguyen (unassisted) 28
CHI – Shaun Maloney (penalty kick) 44
CHI – Razvan Cocis (unassisted) 75
NE – Kelyn Rowe (Chris Tierney) 77
NE – Andrew Farrell (caution) 45+2
CHI – David Accam (caution) 61
CHI – Harry Shipp (caution) 62
CHI – Eric Gehrig (caution) 82
NE – Chris Tierney (caution) 88
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson, Matt Polster, Eric Gehrig, Adailton, Joevin Jones, David Accam, ©Razvan Cocis, Matt Watson, Harry Shipp (Patrick Nyarko 64), Shaun Maloney (Michael Stephens 80), Kennedy Igboananike.
Shots: 13; Shots On Goal: 6; Saves: 2; Fouls: 18; Corner Kicks: 8; Offsides: 4.
New England Revolution: Brad Knighton, Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves, Jeremy Hall, Chris Tierney, Scott Caldwell, Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez (Juan Agudelo 76), Daigo Kobayashi (Steve Neumann 81), Charlie Davies, Teal Bunbury (Kelyn Rowe 70).
Shots: 4; Shots On Goal: 4; Saves: 4; Fouls: 16; Corner Kicks: 3; Offsides: 1.