KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Mike Magee had plenty of chances to score – and to snap the Chicago Fire's long winless streak. He did convert one of those opportunities, but the Fire still saw the streak reach six matches with Sunday's 1-1 away draw to Sporting Kansas City.
Chicago (2-4-10) haven't won since beating Sporting 2-1 at home on May 18. Sporting (7-5-5) extended their unbeaten string to three matches but missed a chance to move back into a share of the Eastern Conference lead with D.C. United.
The Fire wasted a gift in the second minute, when a bad giveaway from Sporting center back Kevin Ellis put Magee 1-v-1 against keeper Eric Kronberg. Magee was slow to pull the trigger, though, and Aurelien Collin was able to get back and clear away the shot from the goalmouth. In the fifth minute, forward Dom Dwyer was in position to block Patrick Ianni's header.
Magee had another near-miss against the run of play in the 31st minute, putting his left-footed shot from a tight angle off the right post – and two minutes later, Dwyer put the hosts up 1-0 with a strip-and-score sequence.
He took the ball away from Ianni 25 yards out, with a clear run at Chicago keeper Sean Johnson, and slotted his attempt home for his club-leading 12th goal of the year.
The Fire wasted little time in responding, equalizing through Magee in the 40th minute. He slipped through a gap in the Sporting back line, took Alex's pass in space and calmly finished past Kronberg, breaking Kansas City's streak of 281 minutes without conceding a goal.
Collin had another goalmouth clearance in the 57th minute, cleaning up halftime sub Dilly Duka's squibbed shot at the right post after it trickled past Kronberg.
Sporting's best chance to pick up all three came early in second-half stoppage time, when Johnson stopped but couldn't immediately control Jacob Peterson's low shot. Substitute C.J. Sapong sprinted down on the ball, but Johnson was able to pull it in just as the forward arrived.
Johnson finished with eight saves.
Sporting center back Matt Besler, recently returned from the World Cup, was in attendance on Sunday but did not play. Winger Graham Zusi, another member of the US team in Brazil, was in the 18 and came on for Soony Saad in the 62nd minute.
Chicago were without forward Quincy Amarikwa, serving a one-match suspension for card accumulation, and Sporting winger Toni Dovale was on the second match of his two-match suspension for a violent-conduct red card early last month in Houston. Fire midfielder Jeff Larentowicz also missed the match after the birth of his son Sebastian earlier on Sunday.
Both teams next play on Saturday, and both away, with Sporting traveling to Montreal and Chicago to New England.
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Benny Feilhaber||Makes Sporting's midfield so much better when he's on form (and he was today). Was involved in the team's most dangerous first-half moves and kept the tempo at a good level|
|2||Graham Zusi||Clearly riding a World Cup high, as he made a huge impact with his quality service while playing the final half hour of the contest|
|3||Sean Johnson||Made eight saves to send the Fire home with a point, including a brave effort on C.J. Sapong after he'd spilled a shot from distance|