Another blown lead, another late loss, 3:1 to Fire
April 7, 2013
Say what you want about the tenure of "Clever" Hans Backe, but his teams never lost leads. And we mean NEVER: in his three regular seasons in charge, not once Metro lost a game in which they scored first. And now, six games into Mike Petke's tenure, such losses are now two: today's 3:1 result in Chicago adding to the earlier debacle in San Jose.
Now, this is not us pining for the times of the grizzled Swede, and clearly, the faulty formation of the current roster is not even close to being on Petke's shoulders, but... well, let's just get to the game summary.
The lone change from last week's lineup was the return of Brandon "Ninja" Barklage from suspension. He took his usual place at right back at the expense of Kosuke Kimura.
Metro struck off a Juninho corner kick in the 17th minute. Tim Cahill and Barklage kept the ball alive as it floated to Jamison Olave, parked outside the goal. The big defender acrobatically volleyed the ball across his body and into the net.
The Fire could have evened the game in the 25th minute, after Jonny Steele got called by a hand ball in the penalty area. Thankfully, Chris Rolfe shot just wide of the left goalpost. But Chicago did even the match before the break on a mistake by Luis Robles. A cross was floated into the box, and the Metro goalkeeper rose to grab it. Sadly, the Fire's Daniel Paladini rose as well, heading it in through Robles' outstretched hands.
Old Metro hero Joel Lindpere almost made his former team pay after Robles came out of the net but failed to collect the ball. Thankfully, the Estonian shot just wide.
Titi Henry came off the bench with 30 minutes left, and had an impact immediately. His curving shot from just outside the penalty area rung loudly off the woodwork, and Peguy Luyindula shanked whatever chances his fellow Frenchman set him up with.
Alas, those misses mattered. Seven minutes from time, Maicon Santos made a fool of almost-always-steady Olave, and slotted the winner past Robles. Then, a minute from time, S. Markus Holgersson fell asleep on a set piece, and Santos kicked it in from close range to make the game academic.
So, after the promise shown last week, another disappointing result. Let's hope Petke doesn't make it a habit...
Lineup: Robles, Pearce, Olave, Holgersson, Barklage, McCarty, Steele, Alexander, Juninho, Cahill, Luyindula. Subs: Henry, Sam, Bover.