Bridgeview, IL - You can use a marker or some type of writing utensil and that might be a better way to draw this one up. The Chicago Fire found another way to play 90 full minutes, outshoot it's opponent, Toronto FC, 20-7 and play with a man advantage. Yet, what was left, the Fire picked up its ninth tie this season in 15 matches.
As Chicago ended up with a 1-1 draw with visiting Toronto FC at Toyota Park on Wednesday night.
Harry Shipp scored the lone goal for the Fire (2-4-9, 15 pts) in the second half for his sixth goal this season. While Jackson found the back of the net for Toronto FC (6-4-3, 21 pts.).
"It wasn't like we had one or two chances on goal," Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop said. "We had more like five, six or seven chances. It's the story of our season so far. It's very frustrating. We needed to win the game and wanted to get three points. We possessed the ball well enough to get something out of it. We were definitely trying to get something out of it to get a win."
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The match was pretty even early on through the first half until the 29th minute. That's when Toronto FC's Luke Moore was given a red card for a serious foul on Chicago's Chris Ritter. TFC went down to 10 players and Ritter continued on with a bandage around his head.
Toronto FC, down a man, found a way to take a 1-0 lead in the 42nd minute. Jermain Defoe sent a cross from the right side of the box and found Jackson unmarked for a header.
In the second half, the Fire playing with the man advantage started to take over the momentum and raised its intensity along with there chances at the Toronto FC defense and goal.
"I thought Chicago very well in that second half and they have some very talented players," Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelson said. "They were very tricky. We had to show some steel, some communication to be organized and some discipline. We were just looking for the one or two opportunities at the other end sometimes that they unveil themselves. Which it did and we could've won the game. One thing that we like to do is to defend and they enjoy defending back there."
Chicago applied plenty of pressure, but couldn't seem to get past the TFC defense or its keeper Joseph Bendik. But, the Fire finally broke through in the 56th minute, when Mike Magee fed Harry Shipp. Then Shipo on a couple of touches hit a shot that went off of keeper Bendik tying the game at 1-1.
"Mike (Magee) made a good pass and I was able to get good shot," Shipp said. "It's really frustrating and feels like a loss. We should've of scored like four goals in the second half. We just all have to figure out how not to fall behind early and do better in a game."
Even after Shipp's goal, Chicago kept pushing and pushing for another goal. Chances and chances were there without finding the back of the net. In the 73rd minute, the Fire had a goal waived off. Bakery Soumare hit a one-time shot but he was in an offside position on the cross. Then, Shipp hit a curling cross that missed a sliding Magee in front of the goal in the 83rd minute.
"When your on a team like this that has two win all year," Shipp said. "Your focused every day on going out to get a win and how to get better. I'd rather not score a goal all year, be on a winning team. Then score all the goals I've scored and be on a losing team.
Toronto FC had one major shot at taking the game on a counter attack in the 92nd minute. Dominic Oduro fired a blast that went off the outstretched hand of Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
Chicago will next travel to play Sporting KC on Sunday afternoon, while Toronto FC host DC United on Saturday evening.