Magee leads Fire to 3-2 win over FC Dallas
FRISCO, Texas (AP)—Call it a case of being in the right place at the right time.
Chicago striker Mike Magee tied for the MLS goal-scoring lead Saturday night by scoring his 19th goal when Alex’s shot deflected off Magee’s ribs and into the goal in the Fire’s 3-2 win over FC Dallas on Saturday night.
Magee, who also had an assist, called it the “the strangest goal I’ve ever scored.”
A loose ball went to Alex about 20 yards in front. His left-footed shot struck Magee, redirecting the ball on a bounce past goalkeeper Chris Seitz to give Magee his 13th goal in 19 matches for Chicago since being traded from the Los Angeles Galaxy.
“I wasn’t even surprised because I didn’t see anything,” Magee said. “I was trying to protect myself. And then it hit me in the rib cage.”
Magee is tied with Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio for the scoring lead.
The victory moved the Fire (13-12-7) into a three-way tie with Montreal and Philadelphia for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with two matches remaining.
The top five teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs. New England is one point behind the three teams tied for the last two spots.
“There’s still hope,” Fire head coach Frank Klopas said. “We want to be playing for something.”
Dallas (10-11-11) rallied from a 3-0 deficit on Kenny Cooper’s two second-half goals, but was eliminated from playoff contention. Head coach Schellas Hyndman’s team can reach no more than 47 points. Five Western Conference teams have 48 or more.
Hyndman said, “We had a couple of good chances to tie the game, but in reality, it’s a disappointing ending for us.”
Chicago opened the scoring in the 25th minute when Magee sent a corner kick from the left side to about 10 yards in front of the goal and Juan Luis Anangono headed it in.
The Fire took what looked like an insurmountable lead at 3-0 in the 52nd minute when defender Jalil Anibaba scored his first goal since May of 2012. His shot from 25 yards out hooked just inside the right post as Seitz tried to move over for a save.
“We’re after our defenders all the time about shooting,” Klopas said. “But he takes a touch and puts it in the corner where it’s almost impossible for the goalie to make a save. When that happens, it’s OK for him to shoot.”
In the 63rd minute, FC Dallas’ David Ferreira sent the ball in front of the net, where Cooper battled a defender and shot off the side of his right foot into the right corner. Cooper, who entered in the 12th minute when Mauro Diaz left with a leg injury, added his second goal on a penalty kick in the 75th minute. Fire goalie Sean Johnson went right, and Cooper shot to his left.
Johnson made three saves, all on shots by Fabian Castillo.
“We just shot ourselves in the foot again, just having to dig ourselves out of a hole,” Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobson said. “They came out and they pressed us. We couldn’t deal with the pressure.”
NOTES: Dallas played without defender George John, inactive because of a knee injury. He had started the 11 previous matches. … FC Dallas is 2-9-6 when the opponent scores first. … By winning, Chicago retained the Brimstone Cup— which dates to 2001, when Dallas’ team was called the Burn. The trophy goes to the team winning the season series from the other. The teams met only once this year. … FC Dallas’ Castillo and Jackson each received a yellow card.