Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday MLS: Portland and San Jose come up empty, Fire upset Dallas

San Jose Earthquakes 0-0 Portland Timbers
With all the goals scored yesterday, it was a little strange watching this one finish without a score. The teams probably had about one good chance each. San Jose messes theirs up all by themselves. Chris Wondolowski found himself wide open in front of Adam Kwarasey's goal in the opening ten minutes, but he was unable to handle the cross and the opportunity amounted to nothing. Portland's best chance was thwarted by the referee. Diego Valeri appeared to have fought through a San Jose foul to launch a pass towards a streaking Rodney Wallace, but the play was called back for the foul. There really should have been an advantage played, but the officials disagreed.

Overall, San Jose was stopped by poor attacking third play and Portland had trouble hanging onto the ball in the midfield. Valeri, in particular, was making a habit of turning the ball over near the halfway line.

Portland had the best chance to open the second half. Fanendo Adi attacked in transition down the right flank, found an open shot, but harmlessly drilled the lower part of the far post.  The rest of the second half started to reek of a scoreless draw.Half chances came and went for both sides, but the final ball was never there. The bad smell of a 0-0 finish wafted away in the 74th minute. Diego Valeri was tripped up in the San Jose penalty area leading to a chance from the spot. The Argentine maestro stepped to the spot and found the crossbar at full speed to preserve the empty scoreboard.

Chicago Fire 2-0 FC Dallas
It looked like goal scoring returned to it's Saturday pace in this one, but it ended up being a pair of goals bookending this upset. Chicago's David Accam scored his sixth goal of the season in the fourth minute with a determined effort down the right flank and a well placed shot past Dan Kennedy. That pretty much summed up the action in the first half. Shots were hard to come by, legitimate scoring chances were even tougher. Chicago was happy defending against Dallas's sparse attacks. Of the four Dallas shots in the first half, maybe one of them was a half chance.

The second half was much of the same. Dallas would control possession and Chicago would counter when they could. The story changed a bit in the 80th minute when Matt Watson was shown straight red for a malicious tackle on Rolando Escobar. Chicago now had no choice but to sit back and defend against their more numerous foes. That didn't stop them from earning themselves a penalty on an 83rd minute counter attack. Kellyn Acosta tripped up Kennedy Igboananike on the very edge of the box to concede the foul. Shaun Maloney buried the try to make it 2-0 Chicago, and secure all three points to the Fire.

This was a pretty big upset. The Fire are still near the bottom of the East standings, they are tied for last on points with Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Dallas misses the chance to climb ahead of Vancouver atop the West.

No comments:

Post a Comment