The Fire won the possession battle (52-48), attempted more shots than the opponent (19-7), had more of those shots on target (7-2), and completed a significantly higher percentage of their passes than Philadelphia did (73-64), but yet still managed to somehow give up two goals in a draw at home. Dreadful set piece defending was once again the culprit as the Union's only two shots on target found the back of the net. One of those "shots" was a free kick cross that was inexplicably allowed to bounce in front of goal and into the net.
The first twenty minutes of the match were impressive enough to lead to a belief that the Fire were going to run away with the match but sloppy defensive work ruined whatever positives were earned up to that point. These are the types of results that non-playoff teams look back on once the season is concluded and myopically categorize into the "what if" section of the season. Dropping points at home against playoff contenders isn't a good harbinger that things have changed or will change any time soon.
The same mistakes continue to kill this team time and time again. It's still early but supporters can't be blamed for pressing the panic button five games into the season. The Fire are playing well enough to provide some hope but just badly enough to crush those hopes.
We've seen this act before.
GK Sean Johnson (5) - Did not register a save, as the Union had very little going on in the offensive third. Caught a bit flat footed on the Union's second goal but the fault can be placed on the defenders more than the 'keeper on that one.
D Greg Cochrane (6) - The Fire haven't missed Segares much at all over the last three games. Le Toux was held to very few touches and wasn't a factor in the final third. Segares may have a tough time getting his spot back when fully fit. Had an excellent chance in the 89th but his shot was saved by MacMath.
D Bakary Soumare (4) - Didn't have a bad game, unless you consider that he played a role in both Philadelphia goals. He was caught standing and watching after Hurtado blocked a shot in the 32nd. He failed to pick up Edu who gathered the loose ball uncontested to score in the 32nd. He was inexplicably ball watching again in the 39th as Fernandes' free kick bounced in front of goal and into the net for an unlikely score.
D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (5) - A fine tackle to deny Nogueira in the 28th. Couldn't maintain his balance after blocking the shot in the 32nd leading to the first Union score.
D Lovel Palmer (5) - Beaten by Casey for one of the few Philadelphia chances in the 24th. More active in the second half but crosses and shot attempts were blocked away by Union defenders.
M Jeff Larentowicz (5) - The Fire midfield controlled a good portion of the match and started out very well. A lull midway through the first half led to the lapses on both Union goals. Check out Larentowicz' post game comments at the Fire Confidential Facebook page.
M Matt Watson (5) - Yallop may have played it too conservatively with Larentowicz and Watson starting the match in central midfield but the first twenty minutes could have produced more than just one score. Watson didn't hurt but didn't offer much getting forward either.
M Harry Shipp (5) - A few dangerous crosses early were the highlight of Shipp's day. Had a good look at goal in the 43rd which he skied over the net.
M Patrick Nyarko (6) - Ran Fabinho off the pitch after the first half. Very good in combination before being subbed out in the 77th.
F Quincy Amarikwa (6) - Set up Magee for a tap in with a nice assist in the 16th giving the Fire an early lead. His effort and hustle will keep him in the eleven. Had another chance in the 60th but didn't get much on a deflected Duka shot in front of the net.
F Mike Magee (5) - This would have been higher if not for the end of the match. A missed penalty kick and a high shot attempt at an open left side of the goal in the 89th doomed the Fire to a fourth straight draw. He assisted on the Fire's second goal with a well placed free kick and he provided the ball over the top that led to the penalty kick. If he had converted the PK he'd probably be in line for MLS Team of the Week honors. As it stands, when you're at home needing a win, you'd expect the reigning league MVP to put it away.
M Dilly Duka (6) - Came into the match for Shipp in the 57th and the double substitution changed the match into the Fire's favor once again. Played well in combination leading to good chances in the 60th and 67th minutes.
M Alex (6) - Like Duka, his insertion in the 57th for Watson saved the point and could have led to a full three. Provided the ball in the 89th that led to Cochrane's chance.
F Juan Luis Anangono (6) - After whiffing on his first touch after coming into the game for Nyarko, the Ecuadorian forward finally contributed something this season. His header in the 87th crossed the line before Soumare could get to it and tied the game. He also drew the penalty kick in stoppage time that should have provided the winner.
Another club with issues and a familiar face. The Fire travel to Montreal next Saturday.