Chicago Fire 1-2 New York Red Bulls: The (not so) beautiful game
Photo via @ChicagoFire on Twitter

The Chicago Fire were dealt their first home loss of the season on Saturday night as they were defeated 2-1 by the New York Red Bulls.

There was a little bit of everything going on. Chicago opened the scoring via a Xherdan Shaqiri penalty kick, and then a thunderstorm in the area led to a weather delay right before the half. New York took over once things got going again, and a Patryk Klimala brace secured a remarkable remontada, even if his second came from the penalty spot, and even if the Fire ultimately ended the contest with only nine men.

Story of the match

Chicago carved out a chance in the opening two minutes. A long ball over the top picked out the run of Jhon Durán, and he did well to settle the ball before getting a shot off. It may have been heading for the bottom corner, but the effort was saved by Carlos Coronel.

After an up-and-down opening, the Fire were gifted a great opportunity to score when the referee pointed to the spot. A shot was blocked by a New York player, but it hit his arm, so the ref decided to give a penalty. It certainly was a harsh call, although it was probably the right call since the player did move his hands a bit.

The lead didn’t look like it had lasted long as the Red Bulls seemingly equalized about ten minutes later. A free-kick was whipped into the area, and it went right to Tom Edwards, who found the bottom corner with an excellent first-time finish. However, the goal would not stand, as a VAR review called it back due to offside. It was another very tight call, but it may have been the right one as well.

New York probably should have scored later on, as a dream cross picked out Ashley Fletcher from just a few yards out. He made a mess of the finish, though, as his attempted volley flew well off target.

After an extended weather delay, both teams took some time to get going. A good chance came at the hour mark, with Tom Barlow slipping in behind down the wing. His touches were good, but the angle closed down on him, and his eventual shot was hit right at the goalkeeper.

The Red Bulls kept pushing forward, and they were ultimately able to level the scoring with 15 minutes to go. Luquinhas did very well to make the play happen, as he flew down the right-hand side before picking out Patryk Klimala in the area. He did the rest, slotting a shot into the bottom corner.

Things went from bad to worse for Chicago as they went down a man shortly after. This call was a bad one, with Durán shown a second yellow for a very simple foul.

The Fire then went down another man minutes later. This one was the right decision, as Rafael Czichos mistimed his sliding tackle and took out an opposing player as a result. He was booked, and since it was his second yellow, he was sent off.

That wasn’t the end of it. Chicago then gave up a penalty thanks to a pretty reckless challenge from Miguel Navarro. The referee didn’t initially point to the spot, but he did decide to give a penalty kick following a VAR review. Klimala stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick, and he converted it calmly after sending Gabriel Slonina the wrong way.

That proved to be the end of a very long night for all involved.

Takeaways

This was peak Eastern Conference soccer, both good and bad.

It’s hard to have proper takeaways from this contest. The weather sucked, there was a delay, the pitch was soaking wet, and the referee had to get involved time and time again. We go again next week, I guess.

Shoutout to anyone who was at the stadium. Having to sit through all that in that sort of weather must have been rough, especially since the home side ended up losing when all was said and done. Hopefully some of those in attendance return for the next game.

Man of the match - Patryk Klimala

I don’t quite know how he did it, but Patryk Klimala was able to lead his team to a comeback victory.

Coming on as a substitute at half-time, Klimala didn’t really do much. However, he stepped up when he needed to, grabbing a brace before the final whistle.

His first came via some really smart play, as he found space in the box before burying the chance that fell his way. The second was easier since it came from the penalty spot, but he still did well to stay composed when it mattered most.

It was ultimately enough, and Klimala will almost certainly start for New York next time out.

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