Fire Burn DC With Two Stoppage Time Goals

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In the long history between these two teams (winners of the first five MLS Cups), there has never been an ending quite like this.  The Chicago Fired dealt DC United’s playoff chances a major blow while keeping themselves alive for a late playoff run by scoring two second half stoppage time goals to stun DCU 2-1.

Most of the action in this match took place late in the second half.  For most of the game DC aggressively probed the Fire defense for a goal, knowing they needed to win to take advantage of the New York and Portland losses. Despite creating a few good chances, DC had no shots on goal in the first half. Chicago, meantime, was content to sit back and hit DC on the counter, a strategy which almost paid off late in the first half. A Marco Pappa strike was bobbled by DC’s Bill Hamid but he recovered to prevent the follow-up shot.  The second half saw both teams have periods of dominance, but as it dragged towards the finish line the sense in the stadium was that one mistake could be the difference.

On a normal night, one mistake would have.  Santino Quaranta was taken down in the box in the 90th minute and Dwayne De Rosario converted the penalty to break the scoreless tie.  DC players had gone down in the box all night, so to them the penalty seemed like poetic justice.  However, almost immediately after the goal, things fell apart.  The DCU defense, which had overall played pretty well, gave Sebastian Grazzini some space and allowed him to score on a rocket in the 92nd minute.  Less then two minutes later, it was deja vu all over again as Gonzalo Segares, who had committed the penalty on Quaranta, beat an offside trap and used his yards of free space to send in a perfect cross from the left, finding Diego Chaves at the back post.  The replay above shows that Perry Kitchen kept Segares onside while the rest of the defense settled in hoping for an offsides flag.

“You kind feel bad, a little bit for [DC United], but that’s how the game is,” said Chicago manager Frank Klopas after the game in a boisterous lockerroom.  “For us, it was a great comeback and a great feeling… for our guys.”

The win keeps Chicago’s small playoff chances on life support.  They need to win their final game and hope New York loses theirs by a lot.  Regardless, this is the kind of win that can give a team and fans some positive vibes heading into the offseason.  It’s hard not to see a sense of excitement about a team that was a finalist for the U.S. Open Cup and made a late playoff run after firing its manager midseason.

On the other side of the pitch is DC United, a team that had its playoff destiny in its own hands.  It had a favorable schedule and games in hand.  Now, with two games this upcoming week, they join Chicago on playoff life support.  They need to beat Portland on Wednesday and Sporting Kansas City Saturday, then hope that New York, Chicago, and Portland lose out (note: the great DC scribe Martin Shatzer breaks down DC’s playoff chances better than I do).  Not impossible, but the play of the team of late doesn’t suggest this team is making a run.  The team has lost its last four games, including to lowly Vancouver, and would need to win back-to-back games for the first time since 2009 to even think about the playoffs.  It’ll be an interesting last week, and this game made it even more interesting.

9 Responses to Fire Burn DC With Two Stoppage Time Goals

  1. Mark says:

    I can’t wait to hear the podcast after this one, since 90% of the
    broadcast is typically devoted to United and United references! As
    an avid listener and Fire fan, the only way that this could have
    been sweeter was if Cuesta and Oduro would have scored the two
    goals. Quaranta apparently has been learning dive tatics from DeRo
    and Davies. No a good team reputation to have.

  2. Chris Riordan says:

    Mark, I think you need to go back and listen to the podcasts. First
    off, we have been praising the Fire as of late. Second, congrats,
    (though I may hate to say it as a supporter) but I’m getting a
    little tired of having to defend the show’s coverage to you. I
    listened to the show we “talked about DC so much” and found that we
    devoted 7 minutes of a 90 minute show to DCU. I appreciate you
    listening and really hope you enjoy, but who’s really letting their
    bias show through. Robert, believe it or not … DCU (though they
    don’t deserve it) need only to win out and NY to lose to make the
    playoffs. If DC wins (really doubting it) Chicago and Portland’s
    results wouldn’t matter.

  3. Chris Riordan says:

    I supposed there is something to be said for taking a win

  4. The other mark says:

    Chris there are two marks commenting on the podcast Im the Ssfc
    season ticket holder that gave you props for adding the LAG guy
    last week not the fire guy above. You guys work hard on the podcast
    and the USMNT content was good last week. Hope this mix up doesn’t
    make your week worse after the way DCU didnt close the game out

  5. Chris Riordan says:

    The REAL Mark, Thanks for the clarification … we got beat fair
    and square. I don’t mind people calling out my favorite team,
    because I AM objective. I only begin to get frustrated when people
    challenge our objectivity just because we have a rooting interest,
    I feel we are very fair. To say that we talk 90 % about DC is
    ridiculous. Me and Chris have praised the team that beat us a lot
    recently, while also saying time and again that DC giving up leads
    at home is a hallmark. If you follow me on twitter @IrishCR … I
    said after Vancouver that we didn’t deserve the playoffs. Also …
    after Fire game I said that the loss didn’t suprise me as poor
    finishes have been a hallmark of this year. As for the dives, we’ll
    address that on the podcast … trust me, I will not be a homer on
    that issue. F

  6. Chicago Mark says:

    Man you guys are touchy! I’m a first time poster so way to take
    your listener to the cleaners for pulling your collective legs. You
    guys may have only devoted 7 minutes of the last podcast there,
    however, your podcasts are LITTERED with DCU references week in and
    week out (I’ve listened to every podcast under the new team.) Point
    is that, it is a GREAT podcast overall, but Chris, you have ridden
    Oduro like crazy for half the year and have taken every opportunity
    to call Cuesta a hack, so it was nice that they both had a chance
    to take part here.

  7. Chris Riordan says:

    Mark, Sorry, but I thought you were another Mark who has already
    brought this up … and we had already talked about it, just
    thought someone was being relentless. I shouldn’t have taken it so
    personal, a thick skin is needed for these types of things. You
    make some fair points and I’m the Chris that ribbed other Chris
    (after Oduro started netting). I really do appreciate your
    listening. Two quick things Mark that might make you happy … a
    good friend of mine is a Fire fan and I lost a bet to her (a Fire
    logo is now adorning my Facebook Profile … ahhhhh!) and in a way
    I’m glad that the match ended that way, as I felt the rivalry was
    losing some legs after Blanco’s departure and this has to have it
    firmly back on track!

  8. Robert Hay says:

    Chris – That’s what I get for breaking down playoff scenarios at midnight on a Saturday night. Correct information from a DC fan site and respected colleague of mine is above.

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