September 8, 2012
Come back is good for 2-2 draw with Santos Laguna
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill.– While most of Major League Soccer was taking a break for the schedule FIFA dates and World Cup Qualifiers, the Chicago Fire played to a 2-2 draw with LigaMX champions Santos Laguna at Toyota Park Saturday night.
|Corben Bone scored the equalizer in the Chicago Fire’s 2-2 draw with Santos Laguna on Saturday.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The Fire gave up first half goals before using second half strikes from Michael Videira and Corben Bone to earn a 2-2 draw.
Though Santos Laguna controlled much of the possession through the early going, it was the Fire who had the game’s first chance. Dutch striker Sherjill MacDonald found himself with space on the right, dribbled into the box and fired a driven effort that left Santos’ keeper Oswaldo Sanchez flat-footed as it rang off the near post in the 13th minute.
Despite the early effort, it was the visitors that found the first goal in the 24th minute. Collecting the ball on the right, Santos forward Benjamin Joya dribbled to the top of the Fire box and unleashed an effort past Fire ‘keeper Paolo Tornaghi and inside the right post.
Playing at left back, Fire defender Dan Gargan got in on the action in the 26th minute. Pushing up the flank, the veteran unleashed a powerful blast from 30 yards that forced Sanchez to palm the ball down in order to make the save.
Santos doubled their lead three minutes later when Daniel Luduena forced a turnover at the back. The Argentine attacker took a deflected ball off the feet of Videira before placing his effort to the left of Tornaghi in the 29th minute.
The Fire’s best chance to respond before halftime came when Bone penetrated on the left before laying off for Alex. The Brazilian attacker took one touch before having his effort deflected out for a corner kick but the ensuing dead ball was nodded away and the home side went into the locker room down 2-0.
Coming out of the break it didn’t take long for the Fire to get on the score board. The sequence would start in the 48th minute when halftime substitute Daniel Paladini’s free kick was tipped over the bar by Miguel Becerra. On the ensuing corner kick, Paladini found Videira charging through the box and the Fire defender volleyed his effort past Becerra from close range to take the score to 2-1.
The Fire found the equalizer in the 63rd minute when Dominic Oduro dispossessed Juan Pablo Rodriguez at midfield. The fleet Ghanaian sped towards goal before finding Bone up the right side and the third-year Fire midfielder made no mistake, placing his effort under Becerra and inside the back post.
“It was our first 45 for guys who haven’t played much so it was kind of a new experience,” said Bone. “Training and playing in a game like that is way different. The first 45 I think was pretty eye-opening for us as a group. And as the second half came I felt like the team was more comfortable playing with each other. I think the ball moved a little better in the second half. The transition from the first half to the second half was good.”
Three minutes later the Fire nearly took the lead. Shifted to the right, Gargan pushed up and earned a free kick 25 yards from goal. On the take, Paladini picked out Gargan at the back post before the Fire defender’s header forced Becerra to push his effort over the bar in the 66th minute.
Making his first start for the Fire, Homegrown player Victor Pineda got in on the action in the 68th, picking up a loose ball before firing a low drive to force another save out of Becerra.
Santos had one more chance in the 81st minute as second half substitute Marc Crosas ran onto a ball at midfield before seeing his long-distance blast well held by Tornaghi, leaving the match deadlocked at 2-2 after 90 minutes.
The Fire return to league action when they head to Toronto to take on Toronto FC at BMO Field on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 6:00 p.m. CT live on NBC5.2 and 97.5 FM ESPN Deportes.