It involved a corner kick routine which eventually became a trick play that helped the Red Bulls equalize early in the second half.
Even so, the goal stood and tied the game at 2-2. That they did so against the high-flying Red Bulls (11-7-6, 39 points), who were unbeaten in six games, will do much for their confidence, especially with another two clashes against Jesse Marsch’s men to come in the last nine games. What likely prompted that is that Sam touched the ball a few times while settling the ball by the flag prior to Kljestan carrying out of the corner, which should have nullified the play.
The Fire quickly seized control of the match, peppering goalkeeper Luis Robles with shots beginning in the 16th minute, when Nyarko sent Robles diving to make the first of his six saves. Recently acquired striker Gilberto was able to create something out of nothing by finding the streaking Kennedy Igboananike right outside the box who was able to clinically put the ball into the bottom left corner. The play started at the bottom edge of the center circle, where defender Matt Polster stripped the ball from Mike Grella and fed it upfield for Igboananike.
An entertaining opening 45 minutes saw the visitors take an early lead, when Kljestan converted low to Sean Johnson’s left from the penalty spot after Jeff Larentowicz had fouled Matt Miazga on a corner.
The Red Bulls showed some craftiness for their second goal, with Lloyd Sam setting up a corner and tapping the ball slightly, before walking away as if to leave the set-piece for Kljestan.
In the 41st minute, Nyarko gave the Fire their first lead of the match, finishing off a crowd-pleasing play that started with Gilberto deep on the right side.
Citing Law 17 of the Federation Internationale de Football Association Laws of the Game which addresses corner kicks, a PRO official informed MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday night that the act of Sam touching the ball more than once is an offense punishable with an indirect free kick for the Fire. That enabled Kljestan to dribble toward the penalty area with the ball.
Chicago were unimpressed but it mattered little in the end as Igboananike got on the end of David Accam’s cutback to post the winning goal in the 73rd minute.
Igboananike was then denied a hat-trick when Robles stopped him again late on, but the Fire finished out the game to take all three points.