BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — The Chicago Fire aren’t complaining. They’re happy with the three points they earned in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City. They just think they could’ve made things a little bit easier on themselves.
HIGHLIGHTS: Chicago 3, Sporting KC 2
That was the mood in the Chicago locker room after the match.
“We’re happy about the result but we made it pretty interesting,” said Fire captain Logan Pause. “We’re disappointed with the goals that we let up.”
The Fire looked to have the result under control after taking a 2-0 lead and seeing KC's Omar Bravo sent off before the halftime break. But they couldn’t slam the door on 10-man Sporting, who climbed back into the match with two second-half goals.
Kansas City got a big boost from the halftime introduction of forward Teal Bunbury, who had missed the opener while still recovering from an injury picked up in the preseason. Chicago didn’t handle Sporting’s pressure well, falling on the back foot and making two crucial mistakes that led to a pair of Kansas City goals.
[inline_node:327712]The first slipup came in the 51st minute, when Fire 'keeper Sean Johnson fumbled Davy Arnaud’s cross, allowing Kansas City defender Matt Besler to make the score 2-1 with a tap-in. The second error came 20 minutes later, with the Fire up 3-1. Bunbury intercepted a poor back pass from Chicago left back Gonzalo Segares and slotted a low shot past Johnson.
“They put so much pressure on us,” Fire winger Patrick Nyarko said. “They stepped it up a little bit and we couldn’t figure it out. Hopefully we learned our lessons. We’re not happy with the mistakes we committed to give them both goals.”
Of course, three points is three points, and the Fire—who moved to 1-0-1 with the result—will take them and will try to correct their mistakes before Wednesday’s US Open Cup play-in match against Colorado.
“Getting three points at home in the first game of the year is important,” said Pause. “We’re excited about that.”
“Now we’ve got a big game on Wednesday that we’re already starting to look forward to,” he added. “We’ll prepare for that and look at the couple of mishaps and instances with a lack of concentration and do our best to correct it.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.