Despite rallying from a 1-0 deficit in the first half, the Fire were unable to complete their second-half comeback against the Revolution, drawing, 2-2, Saturday night.
A 28th-minute strike from Lee Nguyen was canceled out by Shaun Maloney's penalty kick on the stroke of halftime. Razvan Cocis' tap-in 15 minutes from time was not enough, however, as Kelyn Rowe responded in the 77th minute to help the Revolution emerge with a valuable road point much to the dismay of the 14,159 on hand at Toyota Park.
"Gutted for the guys that, as a group, we got back into the game and then we went on to score what I thought was going to be the winning goal," a disappointed Frank Yallop told reporters after the match. "The last goal is not good. I don't know what to say after that, it just cost us the game."
All three of the Fire's designated players -- David Accam, Kennedy Igboananike and Maloney -- made the cut in Yallop's Starting XI, appearing together from the get-go for the first time since May 30 and only the fourth time all year. Accam and Igboananike replaced Patrick Nyarko and the suspended Jason Johnson, respectively, while Sean Johnson reclaimed his spot in goal to round out the three changes from the team that downed Orlando City SC in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Both sides enjoyed their share of possession in the early stages, with the Revolution dictating most of the run of play. Harry Shipp's corner-kick delivery in the 23rd minute was met by Cocis, who, with the goal at his mercy, fluffed his lines from six yards out and wasted a golden opportunity to put the hosts in front.
In a tight affair with chances few and far between, the most dangerous opening fell to the visitors, resulting in the first goal. Scott Caldwell found room to work on the left flank and whipped a ball into the six-yard box, only to be cleared as far as Nguyen, who slammed it home in the 28th minute.
Just as it appeared as though the Revolution would keep their 1-0 advantage, the Fire answered with a goal of their own. Maloney's corner kick in the 43rd minute spilled out to Accam, who was brought down by New England defender Jose Goncalves inside the area, leaving referee Ricardo Salazar no choice but to award a penalty kick. Maloney stepped up, kept his nerve and buried his effort past a diving Brad Knighton on the stroke of halftime to give the Men in Red some much-needed momentum heading into the second 45.
Following the halftime interval, a tame opening to the second stanza was nearly turned on its head. Just past the hour mark, Cocis sidestepped a few Revolution defenders on his way toward unleashing a curling strike from outside the 18 that sailed just wide of Knighton's left post.
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With a quarter of an hour left to play, the Men in Red found their second goal, courtesy of Cocis. After Joevin Jones' initial attempt bounced to Matt Watson, the Englishman's side volley was parried by Knighton into the path of the Romanian at the back post, who dispatched from a couple yards out to net his first goal since the 2-2 draw at New York City FC on May 15.
Two minutes later, the Fire's lead was nullified. A low, bending ball from Revolution defender Chris Tierney wasn't dealt with by the back line, and made its way to Rowe to slot past a powerless Johnson at the back post, helping Jay Heaps' side steal a share of the points.
"We've got to let this go and get three points next Sunday," Yallop added. "It was right there for us and it was just disappointing that we didn't get three points. We dropped two points tonight."
Following a taxing two weeks that saw the Fire contest five matches, the Men in Red have the next eight days to prepare for next Sunday's cross-conference clash against FC Dallas.
Chicago Fire Starting XI (subs)
(4-4-1-1): Sean Johnson; Matt Polster, Eric Gehrig, Adaílton, Joevin Jones; David Accam, Matt Watson, Razvan Cocis (C), Harry Shipp (Patrick Nyarko, 64'); Shaun Maloney (Michael Stephens, 80'); Kennedy Igboananike.