CHICAGO – The hope for everyone on the club was to find a way to bottle the magic that they had in their first game of 2020 at Soldier Field in their second.
After all, the 3-0 shutout win over FC Cincinnati on August 25th was easily their highlight of the season, as their much-awaited return to the lakefront produced their first win outside of the Orlando bubble in 2020.
Unfortunately on Sunday night, it was another player who was making magic happen, perhaps unintentionally, and he was on the other side.
Teal Bunbury struck not once but twice for the New England Revolution on Sunday evening at Soldier Field. His goal in the first three minutes gave the visitors their first lead of the game and an incredible score early in the second half gave New England a 2-1 victory.
The game-winner wasn’t really even intended to be a score as Bunbury sent a cross into the box. Yet it was placed in the right spot in the top corner of the net to beat Bobby Shuttleworth for the score.
It’s poor luck for Chicago Fire FC as the loss drops their overall record in the 2020 MLS season to 2-6-2 and to 1-3-1 in the current six-game phase for the league.
“We are creating chances, we are a good team and we have to keep doing that. But as well, of course, we have to be more demanding with ourselves and not giving up such easy goals as well; when we have the chances, we have to finish them,” said head coach Raphael Wicky of the effort. “But yeah, I’m not going to start questioning everything if I see a performance like tonight.”
What’s difficult is the Fire rallied from Bunbury’s first goal early in the match to get it back quickly, with Fabian Herbers getting the equalizer in the 22nd minute. The Fire would have 62 percent of the possession with six quality chances on net, but a second or third goal never materialized.
“Yeah the frustration level is pretty high, I would say. Again we played good, we played a very solid game here at home. (We) really wanted to win this, to get ahead a little bit with three points,” said Herbers. “But I mean we concede an early goal which is always tough but I thought the team responded pretty well to that. (We) created several opportunities from set pieces and then out of the play we come back with the 1-1 and go into halftime. And we kept pushing, kept pushing.”
But there wasn’t enough to produce a second-consecutive great result at home.