TORONTO, ONTARIO (April 6, 2019) – It’s been a roller coast of a week for the Chicago Fire and their supporters. The team is off to a poor start this year and there are rumblings that the club is moving back to Solider Field and rebranding. And they were playing the Toronto FC buzz saw that dismantled New York City FC a week ago.
Jozy Altidore Goal and Assist not Enough: Chicago Fire Draw Toronto FC 2-2
But the Fire managed to gut out a road result against a good team who created more chances.
After several good opportunities, Jozy Altidore opened the scoring in the 31st minute. Alejandro Pozuelo sent a cross in from the wing towards the far post. Altidore separated from the center backs and goalkeeper David Ousted did not come off his line. The United States International headed it on the first touch into the back of the net.
CJ Sapong gave the Fire life just before halftime. On a Route One pass from Jeremiah Gutjahr, Sapong took a touch into the open space, separated from Chris Mavinga, then chipped goalkeeper Alex Bono to make it 1-1 at halftime.
Nemanja Nikolic took the lead in the 62nd minute. Aleksandar Katai got into the box on the counter attack. Nikolic went to the front of the net and attacked the low cross. The ball took a bounce and went into the net. It was the Serbian’s first goal of the season.
Frustrated, TFC pushed forward to try and get an equalizing goal. They threw numbers forward and numerous balls into the box. Bastian Schweinsteiger and the back line stood tall. Toronto finally broke the Chicago defenses in the 76th minute. Altidore had a nice dribble to the touchline, then sent an out-swinging cross to Jonathan Osorio who scored on a header.
The match ended 2-2 with Toronto pushing for a winner.
— Toronto FC (@torontofc) April 6, 2019
Taking advantage of chances: The Fire had just seven shoots in this game and just three on goal. They had just five inside the box. Two of them led to goals. I still don’t think this is a good soccer team. But they’re treading water well enough right now.
Pozuelo-Altidore Connection: In just his second game in MLS, Pozuelo had an assist. He started up top with the Altidore and the two linked up early and often. Pozuel had probably the best pass of the game to Altidore for the opening goal.
Work left to do: Both clubs still have work to do. Pozuelo needs to continue to get comfortable with his new teammates and to MLS. The Fire cannot count on giving the opponent so much of the ball and more chances. That isn’t sustainable if they want to compete for the playoffs.