The New York Red Bulls vs Chicago Fire game came with great anticipation because of the early call of Roy Milles and Tim Cahill by their respective national teams for the World Cup 2014 camp. The anticipation wouldn’t be for no reason.
With 5:30 minutes into the game excitement had already taken over. Chicago should have gotten a penalty kick by the 2 minute mark but nothing was called. The play went on and an irregular goal soon followed. The assistant referee waved the flag on Chicago’s forward, but the referee didn’t call the offside. According to FIFA’s rules book :
A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball
touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee,
involved in active play by: interfering with play
The player should have got an offside call because the goal keeper couldn’t know if he was going to kick the ball or not – causing him not to jump on the ball -, therefore being a part of the play.
With the goal called, the game went on and at 5:30 the Red Bulls answered with Tim Cahill, making the shot and tying the game.
At 23 minutes the Red Bulls had their 2nd real chance after Cahill makes a beautiful play on the right side and after a cross to the middle of the penalty area McCarty battled with Chicago’s goalkeeper and ended up being called for a foul.
At 36 the pressure by the Red Bulls went up and Wright-Phillips almost scored after a beautiful behind the back pass by McCarty. Soon afterwards Fire’s forward Magee missed a face to face shot against Robles.
The Red Bulls continued to be dominant and after a great play by Henry on the left side, he crosses and Bradley Wright-Phillips scores with a spot on volley.
A couple of corners and a good deal of roughness and fouls later the half would end in favor of New York 2-1. Safe to say the Red Bulls dominated the offensive field and barely suffered any pressure by Chicago aside from Magee’s attempt.
1st half – consistency and team play
2nd half - complete collapse
The half started with Chicago coming back with a different attitude. The Fire scores right away after a breach on defense at 49 minutes – and again at 53 by Harrison after New York’s defender lost the ball in the penalty area. Another defensive failure and Chicago steals the ball and scores. Harrison again puts Chicago 4-2 in a matter of 15 minutes.
20 minutes in the half, the 5th goal. I’m sitting in disbelief at home and start thinking about the Miami Heat vs Nets game when a glimpse of hope strikes as Wright-Phillips with another volley brings the game to 5-3. A couple more offensive stunts by the Red Bulls and the ref calls a penalty kick at the 75minute mark (journalist dream game right here).
Wright-Phillips shoots….. AND HE SCORES. 5-4 in favor of the Chicago Fire.
The Heat – Nets game is 24-20 at this point and suddenly Lebron James vs future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce is not interesting anymore.
Pure pressure. 1, 2, 3, 4 saves and missed shots. The Red Bulls looked like they wanted it bad but the energy just couldn’t be sustained.
The Chicago Fire wins their first game since October 2013 and brings a few questions about Petke‘s system. No team should dismantle like they did Saturday night. But that’s a different matter.
What a game.