Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
It isn’t every day you see a team earn two penalty kicks in the first 15 minutes of a match, but that was what the Chicago Fire were able to do in Sunday’s match against Sporting Kansas City.
One of the penalties looked extremely dubious, while the second looked considerably more legitimate. Both were called though, and Mike Magee expertly converted both into the same low left corner to help the Fire post a 2-1 victory over Sporting KC.
The win, Chicago’s second in a row, came against a Sporting KC side fielding a patchwork defense without Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin. Peter Vermes handed teenage defender Erik Palmer-Brown his first professional appearance and the Juventus target endured a rough debut, surrendering a penalty kick and drawing two yellow cards before being sent off after just 64 minutes.
Dom Dwyer pulled Sporting KC within a goal in the 68th minute with a header off a Benny Feilhaber pass, but that’s as close as Sporting KC was able to get.
Fire rookie Harrison Shipp continued to enjoy a dream season for Chicago, showing off an array of dangerous passes to trouble Sporting KC’s patchwork 3-5-2 formation. His pass helped set up the first Fire penalty, drawn by Quincy Amarikwa, who raced onto the pass and fell to the ground after Erik Kronberg raced out to challenge him. Replays suggested Kronberg never made contact with Amarikwa, but the penalty call stood and Magee made the score 1-0 after just seven minutes.
Benji Joya drew the second penalty just eight minutes later as he challenged Palmer-Brown in the penalty area. Joya slipped past Palmer-Brown, who pushed him from behind to draw the referee’s whistle and set up Magee’s second penalty conversion.
The loss dropped Sporting KC to 5-4-2, while Chicago’s second straight win improved the Fire’s record to 2-2-6.
Here are the match highlights: