TORONTO — Dilly Duka and Robert Earnshaw scored first half goals for Chicago and Toronto respectively as two Eastern Conference sides battled to a 1-1 draw in front of 15,217 at BMO Field on Wednesday evening.
The Fire opened the scoring in the 20th minute on a peculiar play in which Duka chipped a pass to forward Mike Magee, who had made a run into the Toronto box. While the current second-highest goalscorer in the league was unable to get a foot on the ball, TFC keeper Joe Bendik played the ball as if Magee was going to redirect it and ultimately saw Duka’s pass bounce over him into the back of the net.
Toronto equalized three minutes later when Earnshaw received a ball in the Fire box from winger Bobby Convey and then showed great poise while waiting for the Chicago defender to commit before he blasted his shot past keeper Sean Johnson. Unfortunately for Toronto, Earnshaw appeared to pull a muscle on the goal and was subsequently replaced by Justin Braun.
TFC came close to taking the lead just before the half-time whistle when Spaniard Alvaro Rey unleashed a shot that had MLS Goal of the Week written all over it but ultimately saw his effort ring off both the post and the crossbar.
Recently acquired striker Bright Dike made his TFC debut when he came on in place of Andrew Wiedeman in the 75th minute.
Chicago looked like they might have been closing in on a winner late in the second half when it appeared that they had caught Toronto on the counter attack. However, Bendik came up with a big save 1v1 against former TFC striker Quincy Amarikwa.
With the draw, Toronto bounced back from a 4-0 loss to the Portland Timbers on the weekend but also saw their current winless streak stretch to six matches. Chicago, meanwhile, saw their playoff ambitions take something of a hit as they were once again unable to grind out a victory away from Toyota Park.
The Fire return to action on Saturday, September 14th against the New England Revolution at Toyota Park, while TFC will face the New York Red Bulls on Saturday at Red Bull Arena.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Dilly Duka||Didn't deserve the goal, but probably should have had about three assists. Shows flashes of genius ever game now - needs to do it for 90 to become a star.|
|2||Bobby Convey||Put in an active shift up and down the left flank, and smartly played an early ball on the goal. That was enough to make him a standout.|
|3||Austin Berry||Has shown improved reading of the game over the past two months, and is now stepping confidently into the play when he needs to.|