BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Chance after open chance presented themselves to Chicago Fire forwards in Sunday's all-important game against the Houston Dynamo, the team just two points ahead of them for the fifth playoff spot.
But the finishing touch that they found over the summer months wasn't present on a muggy afternoon, and they paid for it when Adam Moffat scored the game-tying goal in the 90th minute.
“I think the entire game was pretty fitting,” forward Mike Magee said. “I feel like in games like that, when you get a bunch of chances and you don't finish, the soccer gods have a way of punishing you. Obviously we can't concede the way we did. But when you miss the chances that we had, it has a way of sorting itself out where you don't deserve the win.”
Magee and fellow forward Chris Rolfe had two point-blank chances apiece in the first half, but neither was able to beat Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall. The Fire finally broke through when a Mike Magee corner kick glanced off of Jeff Larentowicz's head, then off of Houston defender Bobby Boswell and into the side netting.
“You look at me and Mike, and we had plenty of chances today to put the game away in the first half,” Rolfe said. “It's a game of inches, and it hasn't been going our way. I think a lot of it comes to us in the attack. The defense played well today, they stopped a lot of dangerous attacks, and they just kind of got worn down.”
Still, the Fire were able to hold onto the one-goal lead until the waning minutes of the second half even after missing a few more chances to put the game away, including a shot by Magee that hit the post. But inaccuracy killed Chicago when they gave Moffat space in the penalty area, allowing the Scotsman hammered a shot into the opposite side netting.
“We definitely dropped off a little bit,” Magee said. “I thought maybe we thought 1-0 was good enough to bring it in which it should've been. I think we were even doing well bunkering in, we had a good block. I would've preferred we stepped out a little bit, but on that play, we shut off for a little bit. When you play any team in this league [like that], you're going to get punished.”