|photo by Matt Kremkau
Patryk Klimala's two goals, one being a penalty kick one minute into stoppage time gave the New York Red Bulls a wild, come-from-behind victory over the nine-man Chicago Fire FC, 2-1. They became the second-ever MLS team to start the season with five consecutive road victories.
One of the ongoing issues the Fire had was putting the ball into the net. Chicago hasn't scored since forward Kacper Przybyłko scored against Sporting KC back on March 19, resulting in a 3-1 win for the Fire. He was not available for selection for the match.
That streak ended thanks to a dubious hand ball called on Ashley Fletcher in the 15th minute, the ball slamming into the shoulder of Fletcher as the shot rocketed off Boris Sekulic, but referee Jon Freeman awarded the penalty to Chicago, of which Xherdan Shaqiri gave the hosts the early lead shortly thereafter.
The Red Bulls not deterred from the decision by Freeman, responded. Off a free kick which the ball was delivered into the box and found the foot of Tom Edwards, he and they thought they equalized the match, in the 18th minute, but after review by VAR, overturned the decision after it was revealed that defender and captain Aaron Long was caught in a offside position, even though he was involved in the play.
After a half that took longer than usual to end, thanks to an 80-minute weather delay, play resumed on a newly-wet field after a rare three-minute halftime observation.
That's when things when from dubious for the visitors to bizarre for the home side. The Red Bull were able to get on the scoreboard for real in the 75th minute as New York midfielder Luquinhas darted down the touchline, cut back, and delivered a nifty pass over to Patryk Klimala, who's name hasn't seen the score sheet since week one against San Jose Earthquakes.
Then just four minutes later, defender Jhon Duran collected a second yellow card after foolishly fouling Cristian Casseres Jr. ending his evening and putting the visitors up a man in a crucial point of the match. Chicago wasn't done shooting themselves in the foot, because just three minutes after that, captain Rafael Czichos committed his second yellow, leaving the home side down to just nine men.
From there, it went from bad to worse for the Fire. With the Red Bulls sensing a chance to win the match they did just that as Patryk Klimala was fouled in the box one minute into stoppage time. This time around, unlike the confusing VAR decision that erased Tom Edwards' equalizing goal earlier, this time the penalty kick was awarded to the Red Bulls, and Klimala stutter-stepped and cooly converted the penalty kick to give the Red Bulls their fifth win of the season, and first place in the Eastern Conference until the Philadelphia Union play Nashville on Sunday.