The scoreline may have finished 0-0, but the Chicago Fire’s trip to Sporting Kansas in the MLS was hardly without its talking points.An over-capacity crowd on 19,925 at Sporting’s Livestrong Sporting Park saw their side have a goal disallowed, a player sent off and a penalty denied, before having to be content with a share of the points.
Chicago’s Corben Bone drew had the first chance of note when he hit the crossbar with Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen at full stretch.
The home fans were on their feet on 14 minutes, when Kei Kamara made space down the right and crossed low and hard into the penalty area.
Mexican striker Omar Bravo’s scuffed his chance to meet the cross, but Graham Zusi made no mistake in finding the back of the net at the far post – only for the linesman to correctly rule that Bravo was offside.
Nielsen was called into action to deny Fire striker Cristian Nazarit’s downward header on the half-hour mark, but the goalkeeper’s match was to sour when he was handed a straight red card in the second half.
With Dominic Oduro bearing down on goal, Nielsen game out of the area to clear but used his right glove to guide the ball out of the striker’s reach. His head-in-hands reaction told the story, even before he was shown the colour of his card.
Orr Barrouch could have grabbed the points for Chicago when he struck the woodwork after substitute Sporting goalkeeper Erick Kronberg fumbled Dan Paladini’s initial shot.
But it was Kansas City who had a right to feel aggrieved, after Bravo was scythed down in the area by Fire defender Bratislav Ristic on 88 minutes.
Referee Michael Kennedy waved what looked a clear penalty, with nine minutes of extra time failing to split the two sides.
The point each does little to lift the mood at either club, with Sporting remaining bottom of the Eastern Conference and Chicago just one spot above them.