Last week's 3-2 setback against Toronto FC saw a prevailing narrative come back to haunt the Chicago Fire. After taking two leads, both were wiped out and by the end of the night, the defeat officially eliminated the team from playoff contention.
On Saturday night, the self-pride that interim head coach Brian Bliss called for in the days building up to the Fire's penultimate home match of the regular season against the New England Revolution was on full display.
After conceding Juan Agudelo's headed goal against the run of play in the 31st minute, the Fire turned on in the second half. David Accam's near-post finish - his team-leading 10th of 2015 - followed by tallies from Harry Shipp and Gilberto helped the Fire (8-18-6, 30 points) snap a five-match losing streak in a 3-1 victory over the Revolution (13-11-8, 47 points) in front of an announced crowd of 16,694 at Toyota Park.
Bliss trotted out three changes from the side that fell in Toronto last time out. Joevin Jones made his return to the starting lineup at left back for Patrick Doody. Razvan Cocis partnered Michael Stephens in central midfield and Shipp deputized for Mike Magee underneath Gilberto.
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The hosts struggled to find their feet in the early going, allowing New England midfielders Jermaine Jones and Kelyn Rowe to unleash the opening shots toward Jon Busch's net.
With more and more possession garnered in the final third, the Fire were able to carve out the game's first notable opportunity via Accam in the 21st minute. The Ghanaian collected the ball on the edge of the area and tantalized Andrew Farrell in a one-versus-one scenario before sending a curling right-footed effort at New England 'keeper Bobby Shuttleworth, who expertly palmed aside.
A minute shy of the half-hour mark, the Fire saw a flurry of chances go awry. First, Patrick Nyarko dished to Gilberto, whose volley was stopped by Shuttleworth. The Brazilian hit the post on the ensuing corner kick, and, seconds later, was found by Accam at the back post but couldn't direct a shot on target.
Seconds later, the visitors charged toward the other end, exposed the Fire back four and broke the deadlock. Lovel Palmer failed to close down Chris Tierney's cross, which found Agudelo, who powerfully headed past a stranded Busch from close range.
With 58 percent of possession yet little to show for in the opening 45, the Fire emerged from the halftime interval with an incentive to level the score, and they did just that.
Accam drove through the center of midfield and into the box and found an opening, muscling free of Jose Goncalves and squeezing a low shot inside the near post to level the score in the 51st minute. Eight minutes later, Shipp capitalized on a slip by Farrell and ran through on goal. The Homegrown midfielder kept his cool and slotted a shot through the legs of Shuttleworth for a 2-1 Fire lead.
As the second half wore on, Busch was called upon to make a number of saves to keep the Men in Red's advantage in check, most notably denying Agudelo and Rowe on the doorstep in the 66th minute.
Five minutes from time, second-half substitute Matt Watson beat Lee Nguyen to the endline and connected with Gilberto at the corner of the six-yard box. The Brazilian spun, turned and finished past Shuttleworth to seal all three points for the Fire.
Next up for the Fire is a trip to face D.C. United at RFK Stadium on Oct. 18.
Chicago Fire Starting XI (subs)
(4-4-1-1) - Jon Busch; Lovel Palmer, Jeff Larentowicz (C), Daneil Cyrus, Joevin Jones; Patrick Nyarko, Michael Stephens, Razvan Cocis (Matt Watson, 80'), David Accam; Harry Shipp (Patrick Doody, 72'); Gilberto