BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee was his opportunistic self on Saturday, taking advantage of a deflection and a goalkeeper gaffe to score two goals in Saturday's 2-2 tie against Montreal.
But that simply wasn't enough.
The league's second-leading goalscorer cracked a penalty kick off the cross bar in the 79th minute that could have put the Fire up 3-1.
And for that error, he put the lost points on his shoulders.
“We've got to put them away. I've got to bury that PK, and then the game's over,” Magee said. “Tonight's on me. You can't keep expecting the defense to go up and bail you out, so we've got to put them away one of these games and take that pressure off the defense, so tonight's on me.”
Of course, Magee was nowhere near the game's decisive play, when Jeff Larentowicz's clearance in the 87th minute bounced off of right back Jalil Anibaba and straight to Maxim Tissot, whose delicate header bounced into the opposite lower corner.
Safe to say, Magee's Fire teammates disagreed with his distribution of guilt.
“He's being magnanimous,” Larentowicz said. “He had a good game. He scored two goals. You can't ask him to do anything else. That's very noble of him. He played a great game, he scored two goals; it should be enough.”
The Fire came out with a renewed attacking flair in the second half after falling behind 1-0 in the first, pushing the game by bringing in attacking midfielder Alex for holding midfielder Logan Pause and Chris Rolfe for Dilly Duka.
Magee was the beneficiary of the changes when Rolfe charged down the left side of the field in the 57th minute, maneuvered around a defender and laid a pass off to Alex. The Brazilian took a shot from the top of the box, which deflected off of defender Matteo Ferrari and bounced to Magee on the back post, and the forward cooly finished his 17th goal of the season.
In the 72nd minute, he took advantage of a bad touch from goalkeeper Troy Perkins, stole the ball and scored on an open goal, though he admits he grabbed a bit of Perkins' jersey.
“He tried to make a little cut,” Magee said. “I pounced on it and grabbed him a little and I had an empty net left.”
After Patrick Nyarko earned the penalty kick that could have sealed the win, Magee stepped up with confidence, he said. The pressure of the moment didn't get to him. The chance to equal Marco Di Vaio in the golden boot race didn't get into his head.
He simply tried to power the ball past Troy Perkins. But in a development that may have surprised the 18,173 fans in attendance, Magee wasn't perfect, and his chance at a hat trick bounced off of the cross bar.
“It won't be the last [PK] I'll miss and I'm confident taking them and I'll bury the next one,” Magee said. “But that's a situation where I've got to put that away for the team. That's a big goal. I don't miss or shy away from it, the pressure doesn't get to me. I just went back and tried to bury it, and it wasn't my time.”