Sounders run of good form continued in Seattle against Chicago on Saturday night. Obafemi Martins returned to the starting lineup with an ankle injury sustained against Toronto nearly a month ago. Martins wasted no time in the early going, three good opportunities pressing forward in the box in the first three minutes. The Nigerian had nothing to show from his efforts and didn’t truly test Fire goal keeper Sean Johnson.
When you negate a few chances, or don’t take advantage fo their chances they come down and score.
It would be Mike Magee who found space at the top of the penalty box, held onside by Djimi Traore and a quick pass from Dilly Duka. Magee finished neatly past Michael Gspurning and tied Marco Di Vaio for the lead for the Golden Boot in the 25th minute.
Sounders had a chance to equalize with a penalty kick in the 29th minute. Gonzalo Segares had his hand above his head left Referee Hilario Grajeda little choice but to award the penalty due to the unnatural hand position of the Fire defender. Osvaldo Alonso tried to beat Johnson to his right but came up short as the ball was pushed wide of the net and acros the endline.
It would be Lamar Neagle who equalized for the home side in the 40th minute on a cross from Marc Burch. Neagle increased his career-high season goal scoring tally to 7. Marc Burch continues to impress from the left midfield and collected his third assist.
Mike Magee suffered an injury in the first half that didn’t precluded his participation in the second half. Juan Luis Anangogo took Magee’s place at forward.
The 1-1 deadlock continued through the entire second half. Both sides took a some speculative chances. Osvaldo Alonso and Segares had some words with each other. Johnson had to make a couple of saves for Chicago, but the valiant effort of the Fire defense would come unraveled from an unlikely source in the 89th minute.
Marc Burch had been subbed off in favor Zach Scott in the 82nd, which allowed Leo Gonzalez to get forward while Djimi Traore, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, and Scott made up the backline. A surprising move from Sigi Schmid, who is typically more conservative with his substitutions, clearly motivated to get all three points at home. Scott made a long run with the ball down the left flank that had Chicago scrambling for cover. Scott played a simple ball right to the top of the six-yard box and Segares knocked it right into his own goal as he attempted to recover his position.
It was only the second time all season that Sounders had won after conceding the first goal and the first loss for Chicago after drawing first blood.