Sangh poured cold water on the fire

Chester, Pa. – The fire took a step into the classroom on Saturday, and it wasn’t pretty.

The Eastern Conference-leading Union won 4–1, breaking the Fire’s unbeaten streak to five and taking them three points out of the final playoff spot.

“What I said to the players after the game is that we have to put it behind us,” said fire coach Ezra Hendrickson. “We had good form, and we didn’t show tonight, and when you don’t show up in this league, especially against a team like that, you’re going to pay off.”

After Union took a 2–0 lead at halftime, Chris Mueller scored four minutes into the second half to pull Fire (8–11–6, 30 points) within a goal. Xherdan Shaqiri and Federico Navarro assisted Mueller on his fourth goal of the season.

But Julian Carranza pushed Union’s lead back to two with his ninth goal in the 53rd minute. Corey Burke captured the scoring with his fifth goal in the 82nd. Union (13-3-9, 48 points) is tied for the East Lead with 45 in goals.

“I don’t think this team is four goals better than us, but I thought we missed some very untimely goals tonight,” Hendrickson said. “We let the third one in, and he really, really kicked us out.”

“I think we all know that we are much better than what we showed tonight,” said midfielder Chris Mueller. “I think we turned at a very difficult moment in the game when we dropped that third goal. I don’t think it’s acceptable to leave the game, so to say, the way we did.”

Daniil Gazdag gave Union the lead in the 16th minute with the 12th goal. Defender Jack Elliott scored his first goal of the season, scoring an assist in the 41st minute to give Union a 2–0 lead.

Andre Blake made six saves for Union. Gaga Slonina saved three for the fire.

The Fire lost Gaston Jimenez to a hamstring injury, which Hendrickson said “didn’t feel good.”

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