BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Kelyn Rowe and Saer Sene scored first-half goals, but the New England Revolution fell, 3-2, to the Chicago Fire on Saturday night at Toyota Park following a pair of controversial decisions in the second half that directly affected the score line.
Rowe put the Revs up 1-0 in the ninth minute, and then after Chicago leveled midway through the first half, Sene sent New England into the intermission up 2-1 with his stoppage time goal. However, Sene’s disallowed goal on an offside decision in the second half, then the Fire’s second goal being allowed despite offside and foul protests, helped the Fire secure the full three points.
With the loss, New England (10-11-7, 37 points) dropped out of playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference standings, falling from fifth to seventh. Chicago (11-11-6, 39 pts.) leapfrogged the Revs into fifth place in the standings following the win and other East results that shuffled the standings. The Revolution has six games left to play.
Revs head coach Jay Heaps made three changes to the lineup he put out last weekend against Montreal. With Matt Reis suspended while serving a red-card suspension, Bobby Shuttleworth stepped back in to goal. Stephen McCarthy came in for A.J. Soares at center back, while Sene returned to the right wing in place of Chad Barrett.
After Dimitry Imbongo saw his headed goal waved off in the seventh minute for an offside infraction, Rowe made sure his attempt stuck in the ninth minute. Launching from 25 yards away off a short lay-off from Sene, his sharp lobbed shot was deflected and beat a leaping Sean Johnson for a 1-0 lead. It was Rowe’s fifth goal in the last five games.
Chicago leveled in the 30th minute when Joel Lindpere threaded a pass through the Revs defense to Juan Luis Anangono, who converted around a defender. The goal snapped the Revs’ 454-minute shutout streak against Chicago which dated back to Aug. 28, 2012.
As the end of the first half neared, Imbongo and Sene combined to give the Revs a 2-1 lead headed into the interval. Imbongo pulled down Bobby Shuttleworth’s goal kick and worked into space before playing Sene wide on the left. Sene collected the ball and slotted a left-footed shot inside the far post past Johnson.
Sene looked to have given the Revs a two-goal lead in the 50th minute but after Rowe threaded an inch-perfect through ball behind the Fire defense, Sene was flagged for offside after converting past Johnson. Broadcast replays, however, showed that Sene was a yard onside when the ball was played and the goal should have counted.
Chicago then had a chance to equalize in the 54th minute, as Jalil Anibaba worked forward and put a low cross into the box, where Anangono’s shot from six yards was blocked by Andrew Farrell sliding in on the goal line.
The Fire wasted little time to find the tying goal, though when Mike Magee finished off a Patrick Nyarko pass into the box. The Revolution protested as Anangono was in an offside position a yard behind the Revs’ defense and then interfered with defender Jose Goncalves from getting to the ball as it passed inches in front of him toward an on-rushing Magee, but referee Ismail Elfath held his position and pointed toward the center circle for the restart tied at 2-2.
Chicago rallied for the full three points with an 86th minute goal. Goncalves headed out Magee’s corner kick service, but his clearance fell to Alex outside the penalty area. The Fire substitute blasted a shot low and just inside the near post, past a diving Shuttleworth as the Fire claimed a 3-2 lead that stood until the final whistle.
New England Revolution at Chicago Fire
September 14, 2013 – Toyota Park (Bridgeview, Ill.)
Chicago Fire 3, New England Revolution 2
NE – Kelyn Rowe (Saer Sene) 9
CHI – Juan Luis Anangono (Joel Lindpere) 30
NE – Saer Sene (Dimitry Imbongo) 46+
CHI – Mike Magee (Patrick Nyarko) 55
CHI – Alex (unassisted) 86
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves ©, Stephen McCarthy, Andrew Farrell, Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen, Scott Caldwell (Charlie Davies 88), Kelyn Rowe, Saer Sene (Chad Barrett 56), Dimitry Imbongo (Juan Agudelo 71)
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Stuver (LPGK), A.J. Soares, Andy Dorman, Darrius Barnes,
STATS: Shots 13, Shots on Target 6, Corner Kicks 2, Saves 7, Fouls 12, Offsides 4, Passes 316 (78.8%), Possession 47.5%
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson, Gonzalo Sagares, Austin Berry, Bakary Soumare, Jalil Anibaba, Joel Lindpere (Dilly Duka 63), Arevalo Rios, Jeff Larentowicz ©, Patrick Nyarko (Alex 83), Mike Magee, Juan Luis Anangono (Quincy Amarikwa 71)
Substitutes Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Hunter Jumper, Logan Pause, Chris Rolfe
STATS: Shots 23, Shots on Target 10, Corner Kicks 9, Saves 4, Fouls 15, Offsides 0. Passes 345 (73.3%), Possession 52.5%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial as supplied by Opta
CHI – Gonzalo Segares (caution) 61
CHI – Jeff Larentowicz (caution) 69
CHI – Mike Magee (caution) 89
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Greg Barker (AR1), Eric Boria (AR2)
Fourth Official: Silvia Petrescu
Weather: Clear and 65 degrees
New England Revolution – 11-10-7 (37 pts.)
Chicago Fire – 11-11-6 (39 pts.)
- With the loss, the Revs fell to 10-11-7 on the season and remain on 37 points
- The loss drops the Revs’ record in the all-time regular-season series against Chicago to 17-20-8, including a 5-12-6 mark in away games
- Despite the loss, the Revs still won the three-game season series against Chicago, going 2-1-0 … New England won the teams’ two earlier meetings this year: 1-0 at Toyota Park on March 9 and 2-0 at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 17
- Stephen McCarthy made his first appearance since Aug. 10, 2013
- Bobby Shuttleworth made his first start since Aug. 10, 2013 … he now has 22 starts – and 23 appearances – this year
- Saer Sene returned to the starting lineup for the first time in five games … his last start came on Aug. 10, 2013 at Sporting KC
- With his strike in the ninth minute, Kelyn Rowe scored his fifth goal in the last five games, and his seventh of the season … it was the 10th goal of his career
- Against Chicago, Kelyn Rowe now has four goals and two assists in six career meetings
- In the last five games in MLS action, Rowe has five goals and one assist
- Saer Sene’s goal was his fourth of the season and the 15th of his MLS career
- Saer Sene’s goal was his first goal since July 13, 2013, in a 2-1 loss at home against Houston
- Saer Sene also recorded his third assist of the year, a total that matched his 2012 total in his first MLS season
- Dimitry Imbongo recorded his third assist of the season on Saer Sene’s goal … it was his fifth career MLS assist
- Juan Agudelo checked into the game in the 71st minute, seeing his first action since Aug. 30 in a 1-1 draw in Toronto in which he suffered a right hamstring strain
- Diego Fagundez saw his three-game goal-scoring streak snapped tonight when he was held off the score sheet … he had three goals and two assists in the last three matches
- Juan Luis Anangono’s 30th minute goal was the first Fire goal against New England since Aug. 18, 2012 – spanning four games, a scoreless streak of 454 minutes … Sherjill MacDonald scored the Fire’s last goal against the Revs in the 25th minute more than one year ago
- League Pool Goalkeeper Brad Stuver backed up Bobby Shuttleworth tonight as Matt Reis was suspended for the match following last week’s red card, and third-string goalkeeper Luis Soffner has a hip flexor strain … Stuver was originally drafted by the Montreal Impact in the second round of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft out of Cleveland State University