BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Austin Berry's gaffe put the Chicago Fire in a hole on Wednesday against the Colorado Rapids, but the second-year center back helped dig the home side out of it with a 48th-minute goal to give Chicago a 2-1 win at Toyota Park.
The Fire extended their unbeaten streak to four games but the Rapids, who lost their second straight, put them on their heels early.
Berry took a bad touch in the 16th minute, and speedy rookie Deshorn Brown pounced, stealing the ball before beating goalkeeper Sean Johnson with an assured low finish.
Jalil Anibaba almost answered two minutes later when he found himself on the receiving end of a Mike Magee corner kick, but his header was saved by Clint Irwin.
In the 25th minute, Mike Magee evened the score when he confidently chipped a penalty kick into the back of the net after looking Irwin the other way. Magee has now scored in each of his first five games with his new club as he starts his Fire career in sterling fashion.
Magee thought he'd added to his total when he finished off a cross from Patrick Nyarko in the 24th minute, but he was judged half a step offside by the assistant referee.
Colorado midfielder Jaime Castrillón had a golden opportunity to put the Rapids ahead when he connected with a cross from Brian Mullan, but his header flew straight to Sean Johnson.
Berry almost atoned for his mistake in the 43rd minute, but his back-post header was cleared off the line by Mullan.
The Rapids weren't so fortunate two minutes into the second half, when Jeff Larentowicz found Berry with a well-placed cross to the back post, and the big center back put it away.
But Colorado weren't done. Edson Buddle hit the post four minutes later, and in injury time, the Rapids could have equalized twice.
First, Dillon Powers found Tony Cascio wide open with a low cross to the back post, but his angled first-time shot hit the woodwork from point-blank range. A few minutes later, Brown put the ball into the back of the net for the second time, but he was called for a hand ball on the play as the home side held on for the win.
Chicago hadn't strung together points in consecutive games this season before Magee and center back Bakary Soumare arrived. Now, they're climbing their way out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference. The Fire head to Columbus on Saturday before returning home to host Orlando City in the US Open Cup next Wednesday.
With two starters and head coach Oscar Pareja suspended, the Rapids lost their second straight after going unbeaten in six. They visit Portland on Sunday.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Mike Magee||Another huge night. He's transformed his new team's fortunes with his attitude, and his finishing. But how serious is the injury that forced him off?|
|2||Austin Berry||He made a massive mistake to gift the Rapids their goal, but more than made up for it down the stretch and nearly scored two.|
|3||Edson Buddle||Colorado's big striker didn't find the net, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Active and physical as he battled Berry and Bakary Soumare.|