Playing without injured attackers Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Chris Rolfe, the Fire played to what they called a "disappointing" [2-2 draw with Toronto FC at Toyota Park tonight](http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-27-fire-chicago-sep27,0,7860822.story).
The second place Fire, who has now tied three matches in a row, fall five points behind the league leading Columbus with the result - effectively eliminating them from the race for the Supporter's Shield.
"We battled hard again but how many times are we going to say that this year?" said Fire goalie Jon Busch. "Enough is enough already. We gift wrapped the goals like its [expletive] Christmas. If they beat us with a good goal fair enough, but if we're giving away easy goals then we're putting ourselves behind the 8 ball and that's the bottom line."
The Fire got off to a rough start in the match, giving up a completely avoidable goal in just the 6th minute of play. The ill-fated play began when Toronto forward Ali Gerba played a long ball towards the center of the Fire backline. The long pass fell to Fire Captain C.J. Brown but - incredibly - he whiffed his attempted clearance and Dwayne De Rosario ran onto the ball and coolly finished his 1 v 1 chance.
The Fire caught a break of their own in the 14th minute, when Toronto defender Nick Garcia chested a Brian McBride header into the back of the net for an own goal.
The sides entered the half knotted at 1 but Toronto struck again within 40 seconds of the opening second half whistle, when former Fire forward Chad Barrett knocked home a De Rosario cross to give TFC the lead.
After falling behind for the second time, the Fire pushed hard for an equalizer and found success in the 78th minute when Brian McBride headed home a Justin Mapp cross to salvage a point.
The Fire could've won the game in second half stoppage time, but substitute Calen Carr missed an absolute sitter after a beautiful Patrick Nyarko cross.
"Give the guys credit," said Fire Head Coach Denis Hamlett. "Obviously after giving up the easy goal we worked hard to get the own goal and again, less than a minute into the second half, they get a goal and then we push and we push and we get the equalizer. Obviously we could've won the game at the end with Calen's chance. We're disappointed. We got a point but it's got to get better."
Well that's all for the match report, but (as always...) I have a few questions/updates for you guys.
**Chris Rolfe update:**
Rolfe, who wasn't listed on the injury report this week, was a late scratch from the starting lineup due to a hamstring injury.
"He tweaked it early in the week," said Hamlett of Rolfe's hamstring. "We wanted to give it a try and see how he felt and he came in and said he just couldn't go."
**Who was your Fire Man of the Match?**
For me it was probably Justin Mapp. I thought he looked dangerous for the 85 minutes he was on the pitch and his cross to McBride was excellent. Honorable mention goes to Brian McBride, who not only scored the equalizer but also set up Toronto's own goal with a header.
**How do you feel about the result?**
For me it's kind of a mixed bag. I was pleased that the Fire was able to pull out a point from a match that they trailed for long periods of time but I thought the defense was horrendous. The backline continues to make egregious errors and as Hamlett said after the game "if you want to win championships the defense has got to get better."