CHICAGO, IL – What likely started as a cross and instead turned into a wonder strike from well outside the penalty area proved to be the difference Sunday night at Soldier Field as the New England Revolution defeated Chicago Fire FC 2–1.
Teal Bunbury brace powers New England Revolution over Chicago Fire
The architect behind the dazzling play was Revolution striker Teal Bunbury.
He had a busy night, not only because of his game-winner in the 54th minute, but also because he opened the scoring for the Revolution in the third minute.
But Bunbury’s second tally stole the show and allowed New England (3–2–5, 14 points) to leave Chicago with all the spoils.
So was his slick strike from the right flank really intended to be a shot?
“Of course,” Bunbury said dryly during the the post-game press conference.
Anything else to add?
Bunbury’s two goals marked just the second time this season the Revolution have scored more than once in a single game. Bunbury also now leads the Revolution in scoring this season with four goals.
Chicago midfielder Fabian Herbers temporarily tied the game in the 22nd minute.
“The relief is our team getting some points,” Revolution head coach/sporting director Bruce Arena said. “We didn’t win any beauty contest tonight, but it was a great effort by our team.
“We had some luck, but if any team deserves a little luck it’s us because we haven’t had a whole lot. It was a real positive performance for our team.”
Bunbury opened the scoring inside the first four minutes following a giveaway in Chicago’s own end. Adam Buksa headed forward and released Tommy McNamara, who then squared the ball at the back post for Bunbury.
Bunbury tucked a shot through former Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth’s legs and into the back of the net.
“We’ve been stressing the past few days to be more confident on the ball and be more direct,” Bunbury said. “Tommy, I man what a ball he played me. I can’t remember the last one that was that perfect, great vision on his part. It was an unbelievable ball, it was my job to tuck it away.”
Chicago upped the pressure after conceding the first goal. Matt Turner tipped away Elliot Collier’s header off a Miguel Angel Navarro cross (12th minute) and then Gaston Gimenez headed wide of the right post from Alvaro Medran’s corner (15th).
Fire FC equalized off their third corner. New England cleared the delivery only as far as Navarro, who blasted a low drive that ricocheted to an open Hebers outside the six-yard box. Hebers then poked the ball past Turner to tie the game.
Chicago out-shot New England 17–9 and had more than 60 percent of possession, but seemed stifled once Bunbury converted what eventually became the game-winner.
Sunday marked the Revolution’s first win in Chicago since August 2013. The Revolution are now 23–27–14 all-time against the Fire.