CHICAGO – After being away from the venue for a month, it looked as if Chicago Fire FC was about to get a bit back on track against the best team in Major League Soccer.
The team was aggressive on offense as they put 26 shots on goal against the New England Revolution – the second most this season – and each time their opponent took the lead, they managed to level the score.
But as it has few times this year, the Fire didn’t have the finishing touch to get the three points or any at all, as the Revolution delivered another stoppage-time heartbreaker.
In the first of a two-minute stoppage time, Carles Gil put a shot on goal that was too high for goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina to handle as it went to the top of the net for the game-winning score. The 3-2 victory denied the Fire points at home for a fourth-straight game as they dropped to 1-6 in their last seven matches.
“When you’re losing, it’s not easy, right? To have a road trip that long, not get the points that we wanted out of those games, it’s definitely disheartening,” said defender Jonathan Bornstein. “But I think one of the characteristics of this team that we’ve shown all along is that we’re fighters, we’re never gonna give up. You saw a good performance tonight, unlucky on the result, but I thought it showed so much character to come back from both goals.
“We created a lot of chances there when it’s 2-2. Disappointing, the results of late, but you can’t fault the effort, you can’t fault how this team is still fighting till the very end.”
Indeed the Fire rallied from each deficit in the first 90 minutes as Carlos Teran scored off a corner kick from Gaston Gimenez in the 40th minute to tie the match at one. Teal Bunbury got the Revolution back ahead in the 62nd minute with a score but the Fire responded immediately with Gimenez second goal of the season off a feed from Chinonso Offor to even the contest at two.
Chances followed for the Fire after that, including a shot from Ignacio Aliseda that reached the goal line but was cleared late by New England’s Henry Kessler. Aliseda had another shot on goal turned away shortly after by Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner.
All those efforts still weren’t enough to prevent the heartbreaking goal from Gil in the short stoppage time, as the Fire still remain with just 23 points with eight matches remaining in the season.
“We did the best that we could out there to try to win. I think the fans saw it and they identified with us, that we were giving our greatest effort. And now, it’s something that happens, and we just have to keep working hard, keep our head up,” said Gimenez. “There’s no secret in football besides working hard and continuing to look forward. So we just have to keep our head up and keep going forward.”