Fire Hold Off Red Bulls 5-4
HARRISON, N.J. (AP) — Rookie midfielder Harry Shipp scored three goals, his first in Major League Soccer, to rally the Chicago Fire to a 5-4 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night.
Shipp, who led Notre Dame to last year’s NCAA title, gave Chicago the lead in the fourth minute and then added goals in the 54th and 58th minutes to earn the Fire their first victory of the year.
Chicago (1-2-6), which came into the game as the only remaining team in MLS to not have won a game this season, withstood a late surge to end New York’s four-game unbeaten streak.
“I’m just happy to get the first win for this team,” said Shipp, who is from Lake Forest, Illinois, north of Chicago and said he grew up watching the Fire.
“Over the past four or five games we’ve had some heartbreaking ties and losses, giving up late goals, so just hanging on for the win. If I score three goals and we don’t win the game, it doesn’t matter.”
Bradley Wright-Phillips scored three goals for New York (3-3-5), which rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the second half. It was Wright-Phillips’ second hat trick in four games and gave him eight goals in that stretch.
“Yeah, I’ve had a bit of luck in front of goal,” Wright-Phillips said. “Maybe, soon, there may be a time when I can’t score. You just want to enjoy it while it’s happening.”
Chicago went ahead on Shipp’s disputed goal in the fourth minute. Shipp sent a right-footed ball from just outside the penalty area that bounced once in front of Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles and settled inside the right post.
TV replays showed Chicago forward Mike Magee behind the last defender and linesman Brian Poeschel’s flag go up, indicating offside.
But Poeschel immediately pulled the flag down when the ball went into the goal.
It only took two minutes for New York to equalize. Eric Alexander drove a cross into the top of the 6-yard box, where Tim Cahill outleapt Chicago defender Patrick Ianni and headed it past keeper Sean Johnson.
Wright-Phillips put New York ahead just before halftime, volleying a chipped cross from Thierry Henry after the Frenchman sprinted down the left following a midfield turnover.
Chicago took control of the match early in the second half. Jeff Larentowicz sent a cross that Quincy Amarikwa headed past Robles to tie the game in the 49th minute, and then Shipp scored his pair to put Chicago ahead 4-2.
Patrick Nyarko added a goal in the 64th before New York began its rally. Alexander sent a cross into the box that Lloyd Sam chested down and ball fell to Wright-Phillips, who shot from the top of the area past Johnson in the 67th.
New York pulled within a goal in the 78th. Chicago defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado ran over Henry from behind and the resulting penalty by Wright-Phillips pulled the Red Bulls within 5-4.
“It’s tough for me to be critical of my team, because every year you’ve got to allow yourself for a game like this, maybe two,” Red Bulls coach Mike Petke said.
“And I’ve been there before. I told them it wasn’t good enough. But I’ve been on the losing end of a game like this and I’ve been exhausted like them.”
The goal set off a furious finish with New York creating several chances, the most dramatic when Johnson had to come off his line to block a shot from Henry in the 82nd.
Wright-Phillips also had a chance, hitting a bicycle kick from the middle of the penalty area in the fifth minute of injury time that Johnson grabbed.
“It’s huge,” Chicago coach Frank Yallop said about the win. “We’re the only team that didn’t have a win. I think it’s been coming, and I like the way we stayed with it.”
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