Rookie Harry Shipp fired a hat-trick to hand the Chicago Fire a first win of the season in a remarkable match against the New York Red Bulls.
Bradley Wright-Phillips also scored a hat-trick for hosts New York, while other goals from the Red Bull’s Tim Cahill and the Fire’s Quincy Amarikwa and Patrick Nyarko saw the game end 5-4.
New York came into this game on a run of three wins in four, and without a defeat at the Red Bull Arena all campaign.
Chicago on the other hand were still waiting for their first victory of 2014.
The Fire thought they’d broken their duck at home to Real Salt Lake last week, but threw away a two goal lead to lose 3-2.
Despite only suffering two defeats, six draws have seen Frank Yallop’s side languishing around the wrong end of the table.
But the visitors started the brighter, and took the lead in the fourth minute in bizarre fashion.
After referee Kevin Stott had waved away Mike Magee’s appeals for a penalty, the offside striker appeared to turn in Shipp’s deep cross.
The linesman raised his flag, but Stott chose to instead award the goal, ruling that the United States international hadn’t touched the ball.
In just his first season in Major League Soccer, this was Shipp's maiden strike in professional football.
The Red Bulls may have been aggrieved, but their response was immediate.
Eric Alexander delivered a delicious cross from the left, and Cahill climbed above his marker to clatter home a trademark header. This was the Australian’s last match before he departs to represent his country at next month’s World Cup.
Following such a frantic start, the game settled down, with Chicago trying to counter-attack against New York’s possession.
The home side should have been in front in the 20th minute when Thierry Henry’s teasing right-wing corner found Jamison Olave’s head, but the Colombian couldn’t direct his effort on target.
The Red Bulls continued to probe, but Magee had a golden opportunity to restore the Fire’s lead.
Last year’s MLS Player of the Year timed his run to perfection to beat the offside trap and meet a glorious pass from Shipp, but on his weaker left side the 29-year-old poked just wide of the far post.
And Chicago were immediately made to pay for wasting such a superb opening.
Henry concluded an electrifying run with an inch-perfect cross to strike-partner Wright-Phillips, and the former Manchester City man lashed a volley past Sean Johnson to give New York the advantage heading into half-time.
Four minutes after the interval though, parity was restored.
When Jeff Larentowicz crossed from deep, Amarikwa got to the ball ahead of Luis Robles and Kosuke Kimura to nod in.
Then, in the 54th minute, the Fire incredibly went ahead.
Armando dallied on the ball in defence and was tackled by Nyarko on the edge of his own area. The Ghanaian then played the ball inside to Shipp, who found a yard of space before firing into the far corner for his second of the night.
Just five minutes later, Shipp was at it again.
This time the 22-year-old took the ball from Kimura, cut inside and finished neatly to stun the Red Bulls and secure a first career hat-trick.
New York’s defensive errors kept coming and Chicago’s goals kept flowing.
In the 55th minute, Nyarko made it five as Robles completely misjudged the forward’s over-hit delivery from the right. The cross floated over the goalkeeper’s head and into the far top corner.
On this occasion though, the hosts responded immediately.
Jonathan Steele’s centre rebounded off Lloyd Sam, and Wright-Phillips smashed in his eighth of the season to give the home side hope.
A crowd that had been reduced to silence by the Fire onslaught suddenly found their voices and roared on the Red Bulls.
They got their reward in the 77th minute when a Chicago defender was adjudged to have fouled Henry in the box. Wright-Phillips made no mistake with the penalty to bag his hat-trick and move ahead of the Seattle Sounders FC’s Clint Dempsey in the league’s goal-scoring charts.
Now within one goal of their visitors, New York continued to pour forward in attack.
Henry fired narrowly wide from a corner kick, before being denied by an outstanding Johnson save. The same man then curled wide with teammates available in the centre.
The Red Bulls almost equalised in the 96th minute, but Wright-Phillips acrobatic volley from an Olave knock-down was straight at the goalkeeper.
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