By JUSTIN FERGUSON
Now that he is in the red and blue of his hometown club, Mike Magee simply cannot stop scoring.
Magee notched the match-winning goal for the Chicago Fire in a 2-1 comeback road win over the Columbus Crew. Former Columbus midfielder Dilly Duka commemorated his return to Columbus Crew Stadium with a 52nd-minute equalizer, and Magee gave the Fire the lead just two minutes later with his six goal in six matches since being traded from the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Fire midfielder Joel Lindpere assisted on both of Chicago’s goals with similar crosses to the back post on Saturday night. After receiving a pass from Magee, Lindpere found Duka completely unmarked, and the former Crew member stuck his foot out for a one-touch finish.
The Crew immediately looked to reclaim the lead from the restart. Federico Higuain, who opened the scoring with an early penalty conversion, forced Sean Johnson to make a tough save seconds after the kickoff.
On the ensuing possession, Magee tallied his 10th goal of the season, bringing him level with Philadelphia’s Jack McInerney and Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio in the MLS Golden Boot race. This time, Lindpere’s perfectly placed cross found the chest of Magee, and the cushioned goal from the Chicago forward gave the Fire a lead they would not relinquish.
Columbus pressed for an equalizer for the rest of a physical second half, but the Crew were unable to beat Johnson. The Chicago goalkeeper made seven of his eight saves in the second half, a sharp turnaround from an early yellow card. Johnson brought down Dominic Oduro, who was traded to Columbus for Duka, in the box after the speedy Ghanaian forward forced a deep Austin Berry turnover.
A mostly sweet second half for the Fire turned sour at around the halfway point when assist man Lindpere was forced off due to an injury. Lindpere joined fellow midfielder Logan Pause, who left the game with an injury of his own just 26 minutes into the match.
The Fire (5-7-3) return to Toyota Park on Wednesday night looking to continue their midseason turnaround in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal meeting with USL Pro side Orlando City. Columbus (5-6-5) start a two-match road trip a week from Saturday with a visit to Sporting Kansas City.
Here are the match highlights: