Chicago Fire left Columbus Ohio with one-point after their tie this past Saturday. For the first Fire game of the season, they didn’t play as well as excepted. The first half was in favor of Columbus. The Fire could not hold possession of the ball and couldn’t make consistent passes.They looked confused out on the pitch compared to pre-season and the fact the Columbus Crew played a great game. The weak point of the team, that we already knew about, was their defense. Meira and Kappelhof played good together but they had some mistakes here in there. The most noticeable mistake was the sides with Vincent and Harrington, their passes were not perfect and they did not apply any pressure against the Crews attacks. The most noticeable change was Juninho, who was suspended one week prior to their debut game for one week due to a red card given in Tijuana. In his absence, John Goossens took Juninho’s role in the midfield partnered next to Dax McCarty. John Goossens did not really play up to his potential. This was a tough game, Columbus has a well-built team especially with their attacks. Ola Kamara did not score against the Fire, but it didn’t stop Ethan Finlay from putting one in the back of the net and giving Columbus a 1-0 lead. During the first half, the Fire made chances but most shots were well off target, the attack was rather quiet. However, when the second half came along everything changed. They attacked more and more and protected their defense very well.
The second half was played much better by the Fire because they played more like a team rather than just two people, Alvarez and Michael de Leeuw. Immediately the midfield and offense became a lot stronger, their defense applied pressure, and the whole team had better communication compared to the first half. Accam in the second half was magical, Columbus’s defense could not stop him. In the 73rd minute King David didn’t just fake out one defender but two to tie the game and go home with the one point. This wasn’t a game we expected, but the challenge itself to get that tie was truly a great feeling. The Columbus Crew are tough opponents, but in the second half, they couldn’t stop the Men in Red. One player that I kept my eye on throughout the game who disappointed me was Nemanja Nikolic, even though Nikolic had a lot of shots in the game most of the shots were well off target. The offense played very well all together but, I expected more from Nikolic. It will take time for Nikolic to get accustomed to the MLS, hopefully, it doesn’t take long. The Fire needs Nikolic to get to his full potential quick because even though the offense played great they still need a finisher. On the bright side, there’s always next week for their first home game of the season against Real Salt Lake.