The Chicago Fire settled further into the bottom spot on the MLS table, dropping its home opener 1-0 to the New England Revolution off a Jerry Bengtson header.
The first half was a tenacious fight, if ultimately scoreless affair. Reigning MLS Rookie of the Year Austin Berry displayed an impressively bloody nose after coming off worse in a meeting with New England's Jerry Bengtson.
Chicago passed up a golden opportunity in the 27th minute. Patrick Nyarko did excellent work to win the ball off Revolution defenders - twice - before finding Sherjill MacDonald unmarked in front of goal. The Dutch DP did poorly, however, hitting his effort right at a grateful Matt Reis.
The 37-year-old goalkeeper came up big for the visitors a few minutes later. Dilly Duka unleashed a powerful driving shot at the top corner, but the veteran did enough to knock it into the woodwork and keep the game scoreless.
It was New England's turn to go agonizingly close in the 56th minute. A poor clearance allowed an incisive New England passing move to open up the Fire defense, with Lee Nguyen playing in Juan Carlos Toja, but a brilliant recovery from Austin Berry saved the day before the Colombian could finish.
Jerry Bengtson grabbed the game-winner in the 62nd minute. The Fire struggled to clear their lines, and Toja laid off for substitute Kelyn Rowe, who chipped a ball over the top for Bengtson to run onto and dink a header past Sean Johnson.
The Honduras international's strike would prove to be the lone tally in the game, as Chicago dropped its second straight and saw its goal difference hit -5 after two games, without a single tally in reply.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jerry Bengtson
- New England Revolution
- New England