Fire shut down Red Bulls

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Photo by USA Today Sports

By JUSTIN REASH

With the previous matchup between the New York Red Bulls and Chicago Fire resulting in an exciting 5-4 Fire victory, Sunday’s rematch between the two Eastern Conference playoff contenders had a lot to live up to.

Although Sunday’s clash had little in common with its predecessor, the Fire emerged victorious yet again by knocking off the Red Bulls, 1-0, via a 39th minute Mike Magee penalty kick.

The Fire proved to be the dominant side for the first 20 minutes by exploiting the Red Bulls through the left side. Defender Lovel Palmer routinely linked up with Alex from the start, with the duo nearly combining to earn an eighth-minute penalty kick when Alex was dragged down in the box by Red Bulls defender Roy Miller. However, referee Ted Unkel allowed play to continue, much to the disbelief of Alex.

By the half-hour mark, the Red Bulls seemed more likely to open the scoring. Fire defender Bakary Soumare was forced to make two consecutive last-ditch tackles on the energetic Bradley Wright-Phillips to prevent the Red Bulls from nabbing the lead.

The game’s key moment occurred in the 39th minute when Red Bulls defender Ambroise Oyongo brought down Quincy Amarikwa in the box. Magee’s ensuing penalty was initially saved by Luis Robles, but Magee pounced to put the ball in the net on the ensuing rebound. Much like last week’s draw against the Crew, the Fire entered the break on top after a Magee finish against the run of play.

The second half opened with the Red Bulls pressing for the equalizer, with the visitors forcing Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson to make three saves in 15 minutes. Red Bulls midfiender Eric Alexander was responsible for two of those Red Bulls chances, the first of which came from a shot from outside the box.

Alexander then forced Johnson to save yet again moments later, this time from the left corner of the box. In the 65th minute Wright-Phillips was sent through by Tim Cahill after making another cutting, diagonal run from the center, although Fire captain Jeff Larentowicz did well to push him away from good shooting position.

Chicago kept the Red Bulls on their toes with an effort from the lively Harrison Shipp in the 67th minute, as the rookie forced Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles to make a big save well to his left. Ten minutes later, Magee was released down the right flank and sent a dangerous low cross that nearly found Amarikwa for the Fire’s second.

In the end, the Red Bulls simply could not convert promising chances, as the Fire held on to pick up 1-0 lead, as well as three crucial points toward playoff qualification.

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10 Responses to Fire shut down Red Bulls

  1. lprevolution says:

    Classic NYRB.

  2. RBNY says:

    Headline should read “Ref shuts down Red Bulls”. That’s way more accurate.

  3. slowleftarm says:

    Have to hand it to the writer of this article – he made an absolutely terrible game sound pretty exciting. Not exactly a great advert for MLS: a dull game played in front of a tiny, lifeless crowd decided by poor refereeing. Chicago parked the bus after they were given a bogus penalty and RBNY did nothing with all the possession they had except lump it forward and hope for the best. Really poor and disappointing performance after the second half comeback against New England.

    • georkt says:

      Have to hand it to you for properly putting this article where it belongs; in the trash. This was a dreary, boring game played on a dry, hard field with a dunce for a ref. Chicago looked out of ideas from the start except for the early dive which should have been a yellow. Even the tv crew blew the false pk play when they had a closeup on Magee while the play developed. Worse, it started with a thrown in. Even worse, I agreed with Shep Messing’s commentary. THE HORROR!

      • lprevolution says:

        thanks you guys for properly putting words in my mouth. The lack of comments let’s us know everyone’s reaction.

  4. Del Griffin says:

    Is it the camera angle that makes the pitch look so small?

  5. justascienceguy says:

    Props to Magee for convincing the referee it was a PK.

    BWP had a very poor game. He was in several good scoring position and was too indecisive or slow.

  6. Bryan says:

    It was Quincy who got the PK call. He earns all Magee’s PK’s….

  7. Soccer Blood says:

    Could’t agree more.. what a bore. lifeless. Sad but the RB tend to play DOWN to their competion and Chicago were simply painful to watch. As for the RB gotta play quicker more decisive with energy and creativity .. All that was missing and lobbing long balls is useless when Chicago parked the bus. Petke should have changed his midfield alot earlier with both a tired Cahill and a lifeless Alexander not getting it done, Peguy and even Kasi Komura at leftback ( with Oyjunko) joining the mid would have been a better option. Lastly the ref was asleep as well, in another galaxy when he gave that PK.. Horrible call that was clearly ALL BALL?

  8. Brain Guy says:

    What a laughable PK call.

    We’re coming on 2/3 of a season of disappointing performances. Should Petke’s coaching seat be getting warm? That is not a sub-.500 roster.