Jozy Altidore returned to the lineup hoping to add some offensive firepower for struggling Toronto FC, but it was Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio who got on the scoreboard as Toronto beat the Fire 2-1 on Saturday in Chicago, snapping a six-game winless streak in league play.
The Fire (6-11-5, 23 points) nearly got on the scoreboard in the 21st minute when Nemanja Nikolic glanced a header wide on a beautiful cross from newly acquired Raheem Edwards after Bastian Schweinsteiger found the speedy winger with a beautiful pass.
In the 32nd minute, the Fire were at it again when Brandt Bronico had a dangerous chance that he sent just over the crossbar as the Fire exerted more control in the latter part of the first half.
Defender Jorge Corrales left the game in first-half stoppage time after making the mistake of bodying up on Altidore, catching an elbow in the face while the players were entangled and giving Toronto a free kick in dangerous territory, but the ensuing kick failed to produce a scoring opportunity. Shots were hard to come by, with Chicago getting three and Toronto two in the opening 45 minutes.
The second half was a different story, with more chances and Giovinco opening the scoring in the 47th minute after Michael Bradley found him with a beautiful pass and Giovinco’s touch on the ball was just right to put it in the goal.
Chicago was able to level the score in the 62nd minute after Edwards earned a free kick on a run down the wing and Nikolic capitalized. The ball was played into the box, Edwards got a beautiful touch on it, and Nikolic put it past Toronto keeper Alexander Bono.
It didn’t take Toronto (5-11-4, 19 points) long to get back in front. Osorio made a beauty of a run, forcing Fire goaltender Richard Sanchez to come off his line. But Sanchez couldn’t make the play and two defenders were late coming back, leaving Osorio to put the ball in the empty net.
The Fire pressed hard to come level again and got a few opportunities, including in the 72nd minute. Nikolic had a chance to even the score, but he didn’t get enough on his header and Bono gathered in the ball. Chicago kept the pressure on, but Toronto was up to the task and won its first league match since June 8.
—Field Level Media