RyanNelsen’s Toronto side had to put in one heck of a defensive effort in Chicago last night with 10 men, but they did it in spectacular fashion. The Reds were forced to play short-handed for more than an hour last night after a 29th minutered card to Luke Moore who was shown straight red for an elbow to the head of Chris Ritter.
Toronto managed to take the lead in the 42nd minute on a header by Jackson. Jermain Defoe found an unmarked Jackson with a spectacular ball in from the right-wing, giving the visitors a shock lead. The match went to the half with Toronto up a goal on the Fire.
Chicago came out with attacking intensity in the second half and nearly equalized 7 minutes into the period. The Fire had numbers inside the Toronto penalty area, but Lovel Palmer’s chance was fired into the arms of goalkeeper Joe Bendik. Chicago kept attacking and just 2 minutes later, former MVP Mike Magee had his free-kick chance saved by Bendik.
Chicago finally found a goal in the 57th minute from Harry Shipp. The rookie cut inside from the left flank and sent a beauty past Bendik, giving him 6 goals on the year. The home side appeared to take the lead in the 73rd minute when Bakary Soumare put the ball into the net, but was given offside. Frank Yallop’s club kept pushing for chances, yet they couldn’t mount a second goal. It has to be said that they missed a great opportunity to gain 3 points in the East last night, but it’s also a credit to Toronto’s team defending, which was superb last night.
The result brings Chicago to 15 points through 15 games, enough for 9th in the Eastern Conference. Toronto sit 4th in the East on 21 points through 13 games. Chicago will travel to Kansas City to face Sporting on Sunday; while Toronto host DC United on Saturday.