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Magee's goal pushes Fire past Union

The SportsXchange

CHESTER, Pa. -- The Chicago Fire stayed on a hot streak with a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night in Major League Soccer.

Mike Magee's eighth goal in 10 games with the Fire was the difference-maker as Chicago continued to move back into the playoff picture.

Chicago's Patrick Nyarko found Magee all alone near the left side of the goal and Magee buried a shot past Philadelphia goalkeeper Zac MacMath for the winner.

The Union had won both previous matchups this season by 1-0 scores in May on Jack McInerney goals.

Magee joined the Fire on May 25 in a trade with Los Angeles and it's clear his presence is paying dividends.

"We knew he was a quality player, but you see a night like tonight and that's what a forward has to do," Fire coach Frank Klopas said. "When you get him in spots right in front of the goal, he's just very good; he's been huge for us."

Magee said, "To be honest, my only mindset is just to try to get wins. We're on the outside looking in on the playoffs, and that's the only goal. The best part about tonight was getting the three points."

The win brought the Fire within 10 points of Eastern Conference leader New York and within five of New England for a playoff berth.

Chicago continued its strong push, getting a point in eight of the last 10 games and posting a 6-3-1 record during that span.

"It's exciting," Klopas said of getting into playoff contention. "It's going to come down to the end. There's so much parity in the league ... I think you couldn't ask for anything else."

After Chicago took an early lead, Philadelphia scored the equalizer in the 60th minute. Sebastian Le Toux's cross found a diving Sheanon Williams, who missed a header attempt but managed to make contact with the ball and direct it into the back of the net.

The Union continued to apply pressure, getting four consecutive corner kicks in the 64th and 65th minute, but the Fire eventually took control in the 75th minute.

"I think this was a huge missed opportunity," Union manager John Hackworth said. "To go down a goal, to get one back, we felt like we had our foot on the gas a little bit and had opportunity after opportunity, and to give one up the way we did was really unfortunate."

Nyarko got the scoring started in the ninth minute. Joel Lindpere's cross found the Fire midfielder alone on the right side of the goal about 10 yards out. Nyarko's shot into the far post beat MacMath for his fourth goal of the season.

That goal ended a 265-minute scoreless streak for Philadelphia that dated to a July 12 match against Chivas USA, which scored in the 14th minute of that game.

The Union's certainly had more chances as the first half wore on. One close call came off the foot of Danny Cruz, whose rocket from just outside the 18-yard box was knocked away iby Fire keeper Sean Johnson in the 41st minute.

NOTES: Coming into the game, Magee (70) and Chris Rolfe (53) had the most combined shots between two MLS teammates this season, eight more than any other pair. ...The game marked the return of Bakary Soumare to Philadelphia. Soumare was traded from Philadelphia to Chicago back on May 23 for allocation money and a 2014 MLS SuperDraft natural second-round draft pick. ... Le Toux's assist was his league-leading 10th of the season.
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