Mike Magee's penalty kicks push Fire to second straight win

Mike Magee's penalty kicks push Fire to second straight win
May 18, 2014, 6:30 pm
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Rusty Silber

 Chicago Fire picked up their second straight win behind a couple of Mike Magee penalty kicks. It was also their first home victory after a two draws and a disappointing home late defeat. This time around the Chicago Fire held off Sporting KC 2-1 at Toyota Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Fire with its victory moves up the ladder with a 2-2-6 mark and 12 pts. While Sporting KC dropped its second straight at 5-4-2, 17 pts.

"Last time (against Real Salt Lake), it wasn't a pretty sight," Chicago head coach Frank Yallop said. "Today, coming away with three points against (Sporting KC), a good side. It's always something that we aim before the match.

"We got it done and we're unbeaten in two games. We dug through and got the result that we needed. We should've of shoved them off late in the game but didn't and you have to give credit to Kansas City, because they kept going with some chances late.

"It's great to get that win, but there's room for improvement with any performance."

Magee converted both penalty kicks early in the first half for the Fire. The first one in the seventh minute. Magee made a slight fake and buried the ball into the left corner. That was after Quincy Amarikwa was taken down by Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg. Then the other PK, Magee went low-left in the 16th minute for a 2-0 advantage. Again Amarikwa was the one fouled in the box as he was pushed down by Paulo Nagamura.

"There's no relief at all," Magee said. "I take them all the same way, I have my whole life. You miss some, you make some.

"When after you make it, it feels good. When you miss it, you feel bad.

"The next one, it's not like I'm scared or change my mind. If I missed both of them, I would've taken them the same way."

Fire held a two goal advantage and the control of the game for most of the first half and into the second half. Sporting KC went down to 10 men with the loss of Erik Palmer-Brown to a second yellow and left the game with the red card in the 65th minute. But Sporting KC kept pushing forward creating chances trying to goals back. They broke through in the 68th minute, Benny Feilhaber served a kick off a set piece, where Dom Dwyer finished it with a header on a back post run for his seventh goal this season.

"We were working hard to get bodies in front," Dwyer said. "I was lucky to get it at the end of the play. It was a great ball past Sean Johnson.

"We did have a good second half. We had a frustrating first half with mental mistakes that cost us to be down.

"We played better second half, put pressure on them and got a goal back. We had some chances to tie it. It was a frustrating loss."

Fire had to hang on in this one, similar to some of their other recent matches late. Sporting KC had their opportunities to find the tying goal and at the same time, the Fire had chances to add another goal themselves.

"Our battle in the second half to control the game like we did being down a man was excellent," Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes said.

"We created a heck of a lot of chances. Will keep working towards that. I've got a ton of belief in these guys. It's a good group of guys that want to win. They know how to win and we will be there."

Chicago Fire - Johnson, Palmer, Hurtado, Ianni, Cochrane, Nyarko (Duka 59), Larentowicz, Joya (Pause 59), Shipp, Magee, Amarikwa (Anangono 85).

Sporting KC - Kronberg, Sinovic, Palmer-Brown, Myers, Julio, Feilhaber, Nagamura, Dovale (Martinez 71), Bieler (Ellis 67), Peterson (Saad 84), Dwyer.