After a full two to three week break from MLS action and bowing out early in the US Open Cup, the New York Red Bulls were ready to resume their season and their first test would be a Chicago Fire side that has been getting better. Sadly Toyota Park has been a house of horrors for this club and it showed again.
An early goal doomed the Red Bulls early as the central defenders allowed the Fire with tons of space and some easy crosses to get on the score sheet. Sebastian Grazzini found a wide open Patrick Nyarko inside the area and a strong header in the 4th minute got things rolling.
Nothing after that once the game got to halftime, but unfortunately for the Red Bulls their poor start led to an easy substitution for Hans Backe as he took out Roy Miller moving Heath Pearce back to left back as for some strange reason he started as a defensive midfielder and bringing in Mehdi Ballouchy.
That sub paid off as the Red Bulls were able to equalize in the 55th minute. From the near corner Ballouchy sent the ball into the area and out of nowhere Dax McCarty puts his head on the ball, then into the back of the net. Replays showed Markus Holgersson got the final touch on it.
We will get to the disallowed goal in a moment, but the Fire did get their lead back from a nice goal by Gonzalo Segares. It was a good pass from Marco Pappa to spring Segares towards the net, even though Dominic Oduro was there to give the ball back Segares was able to punch home an open net.
During the play Oduro did make it hard for Ryan Meara to play that ball with ease, but Oduro did foul Meara as he fell on top of him. Making it very difficult for Meara to try and play the rebound, understandable that it looks like a 50/50 ball but a whistle should’ve been blown.
Chris Rolfe who made his return to the Fire from Denmark got his first of the season and celebrated his return to the club he started with. He slipped in behind the defenders who were caught ball watching and easily taps home his tally in the 81st minute and it ended 3-1 to the Fire.
The biggest controversy of the afternoon came in the 64th minute as it looked like the Chicago Fire had their original 2-1 lead in the 64th minute. Dominic Oduro broke through and goes one on one with Ryan Meara. Oduro shot it, deflected off of Meara’s arm, slow roller towards the net and Wilman Conde clears it.
But even on the live shot and on several replays, the entire ball was clearly over the goal line and Baldomero Toledo’s officiating crew botched a major call. Once again goal line technology or goal replays needs to be introduced into the game to get the calls right.
Even though the Fire did overcome that major error by the on-field officials, this problem continues to be a major sticking point for the game. It’s a good thing the FIFA is starting to work on this technology, but sadly you can tell they have been behind their old ways for far too long.