May 29, 2012
Fire dropped in Open Cup by Bucks
PONTIAC, Mich. ---The Chicago Fire suffered one of the beauties of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, being knocked out by the amateur Michigan Bucks of the Premier Development League.
|Corben Bone scored his first professional goal in the 28th minute of the Fire’s 3-2 Open Cup loss to the Michigan Bucks on Tuesday night.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The Bucks came back from 2-1 down, and forward Nermin Crnkic tallied a 93rd minute goal in extra time to defeat the Fire 3-2 and eliminate the four-time champions from the 99-year-old tournament at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas Tuesday night.
Playing indoors for the first time in Open Cup history, the home side used a capacity crowd and the unique conditions to its advantage. The Bucks capitalized on the surroundings early, taking a 1-0 lead in the 9th minute when Chicago’s Hunter Jumper slipped on the field turf trying to corral Tommy Catalano. Unencumbered by the challenge, Catalano broke free on goal and fired a low, driven effort past Fire ‘keeper Paolo Tornaghi to give the Bucks a 1-0 lead.
The Fire found the equalizer in the 28th minute. On a throw-in, Federico Puppo collected the ball before finding Corben Bone open at the top of the 18. Bone ripped his shot into the back of the net for his first professional goal.
The Bone – Puppo combo gave the Fire a 2-1 lead at the start of the second interval. Bone slyly picked up an errant pass and the midfielder and was quickly into the offensive third, feeding Puppo who hammered his shot inside the right post to put the Fire up in the 51st minute.
The Fire lead lasted until the 79th minute, when the Bucks pulled level. Crnkic chased down a ball deep on the left flank before working his way toward the 18-yard box. The Bucks forward lofted a cross to the back post, where Nathaniel Boyden headed the ball home to tie the game with 11 minutes remaining in regulation. The 2-2 score held and the teams were left to battle it out in extra time.
Playing their fourth match in 10 days, the Fire were undone in the opening moments of the overtime as Crnkic’s work rate paid dividends for the PDL side. Darting up the left flank, the Bucks striker created space before slotting a powerful shot towards the back post. Tornaghi got a hand to it, but it was not enough as the ball bounced over his gloves and into the goal.
The loss is the fifth time the Fire has been eliminated from the Open Cup, and leaves the team 5-5-1 in third round matches. All five losses have come at the hands of lower division opponents.