Chicago Fire 3, Toronto FC 2 | MLS Match Recap
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Chicago Fire Designated Player Shaun Maloney scored his first MLS goal and registered his first MLS assist, as the Chicago Fire downed Toronto FC 3-2 in a back-and-forth affair on Saturday afternoon at Toyota Park.
Fire left back Joevin Jones opened the scoring with his first MLS goal in the 14th minute, but it was Fire captain Jeff Larentowicz who scored the fifth and decisive strike on a 68th-minute free kick to give the Fire their second straight league win. That free kick opportunity came as a result of a second bookable infraction resulting in an automatic red card for Toronto right back Warren Creavalle, who left his team with 10 men to finish the match.
Toronto FC and their three-man central midfield controlled much of the match before the Creavalle sending-off, drawing level with the Fire in the 20th minute on a 17-pass sequence that resulted in Sebastian Giovinco scoring his first MLS goal as his low blast in the box somehow made it past Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch. The visitors then took the lead when Giovinco turned provider with a chip pass to Benoit Cheyrou whose masterful first-time finish put Toronto up by 2-1 in the 54th minute.
While Toronto dominated possession, Chicago were mainly dangerous in transition through the speedy Quincy Amarikwa and DP winger David Accam, who made his first MLS start and drew the foul that led to Creavalle's red card.
It was high pressure and a rapid transition that led to Chicago's opener as Jones won the ball from Toronto's Robbie Findley in the attacking half and then combined with Maloney, whose backheel return pass found Jones in stride. The Trinidad and Tobago international then fired a classy strike with the outside of his left foot to beat Toronto 'keeper Joe Bendik and put the home side up early.
After Toronto turned the tables on the Fire to claim a 2-1 lead in the second half, Maloney produced his first MLS goal in the 56th minute to equalize the match. Harry Shipp's cross found the Scottish international on the left side of the box and after collecting the ball cleanly, Maloney sent a low shot that made it through the arms of Bendik, who looked to be shielded on the play.
The red card and subsequent Larentowicz tally 12 minutes later was a one-two punch that TFC couldn't survive as the Fire held on for their second straight win after dropping their first three contests of the regular season. Conversely, Toronto fell to their third straight loss after opening the season with a win against Vancouver. Both teams will have a Week 6 bye next weekend.