Johnson's saves and Amarikwa equalizer help Fire earn draw vs. RSL

Sean Johnson

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


SANDY, Utah- The Chicago Fire had one solid opportunity on goal all night and did not waste it.

In a match that saw RSL dominate possession and chances, the Fire were able to capitalize on their one good chance on goal to level the match and escape Rio Tinto Stadium with a 1-1 draw and a valuable road point.

Quincy Amarikwa provided the equalizer, connecting on a flying kick from close range in the 84th minute to spoil the night for the home fans.

RSL were unable to score all game thanks to the heroics of Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson who made eight saves in a Man of the Match performance, with only an Alvaro Saborio header beating him on a night when Real Salt Lake created a bulk of the chances.

Johnson downplayed his role in Chicago Fire’s first road point of the season.  “The backline was great.  I was able to make a couple of saves and keep us in it.”

Real Salt Lake peppered Johnson’s goal for the better part of the match to no avail until finally in the 78th minute a familiar face was able to break the deadlock.

RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy swung a cross into the box where Saborio rose up and smashed it into the back of the net.  It was Saborio’s first match since April 20th after missing the last five matches due to a quad strain.

Unfortunately for Real Salt Lake it looks like the star striker might have re-injured that same left quad during the match attempting to loft a shot over Fire GK Johnson.  Saborio will be evaluated in the coming week.

Chicago were able to fight back and just six minutes later they scored off a long throw-in from Jalil Anibaba.

Anibaba hurled the ball into the 18-yard box and Austin Berry headed it on to Quincy Amarikwa who side-volleyed the ball into the back of the net, silencing the home crowd.

The goal rubbed  RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis the wrong way.

“For me, that’s a foul throw.  I’ve been saying that for the past two years.  A lot of these long throw-ins that we’re seeing now are frankly just foul in my eyes.  I ask the referees about it and don’t get much of a response to it.  I grew up you had to throw the ball with two hands, not one.”

Whether it was sour grapes or a valid point, it didn’t matter to the Chicago Fire who came in and got the point that they needed.

With the recent acquisition of Mike Magee and defender Bakary Soumare, who made his debut tonight, things are looking up.

“Being back here is fantastic with old teammates and a locker room I’m familiar with,” Soumare remarked.  “I was on the opposite side with Philly in Chicago.  They had three or four good chances that changed the game.

“That’s how it is in soccer sometimes, you want the wheel to spin the right way,” Soumare said. “Maybe this is the beginning of something new.  Maybe this is the beginning of a new chapter, a new season for us.”

Here are the match highlights:

  • Old School

    Saborio is such a beast. Not playing a competitive match for over a month and doesn’t miss a beat.


  • RB

    Kreis says the ref robbed them of 2 points but his own defenders say they just have to do better if they’re going to be an elite team in this league.


  • Bob B

    Hey, Kries watch the replay before you complain about a foul throw-in on the goal…..also it’s always someone else’s fault when you don’t win….just like when you played… a complainer and “diver” who never lived up to expectations! Maybe, just maybe someone outplayed your team on that particular play for once…grow up and lead by example. Bob B.


    • Chris

      Whether or not Alibaba threw the ball with one hand (which, frankly, it looks to me like he did), he stepped entirely across the touchline on his throw-in, which makes it a foul throw. The camera angle is bad on the video linked above, but I was at the match and had a direct view down that touchline and he absolutely indisputably steps completely across (I believe with his left foot). According to FIFA’s Laws of the Game, that makes it an illegal throw-in: http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/footballdevelopment/technicalsupport/refereeing/laws-of-the-game/index.html (page 48)


      • Nate

        Waa waa waa. Is this the best you can do? We’re not talking about whether a ball crossed the goal line or not, we’re arguing about whether his foot was slightly beyond the touchline? Big deal. Two Fire players got touches on the ball in the box before any RSL players did. Maybe that’s a bigger worry.

        With all the terrible luck and crappy play the Fire has had this year, I’ll take an improperly taken free-throw missed call. And for what it’s worth, if you are right, it’s only barely. Here’s a (admittedly terrible quality) screencap for anyone that still cares:


    • RPH

      “Never lived up to expectations”?

      You mean score more than a hundred goals? How high were your expectations for Kreis, because he was a regular all star, a league MVP, and scored a sh*t ton of goals. And everybody, except for you apparently, knows that he had a reputation for NOT being a diver.

      Go grind your axe elsewhere.


  • barnie

    cry baby, saw no rsl player complaining. Anibaba is diffently a weapon with his throw-in. Can’t wait to see McGee this coming week, hopefully all players can step up to the plate!


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