June 17, 2012
PEDAL TO THE METAL
Fire roar out of the MLS break with a 3-1 win over Red Bulls
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill.---The Chicago Fire have not put together a dominating 90-minute performance all season. Until Sunday. Frank Klopas' side took an early lead and added to it after a controversial call in the second half to defeat the New York Red Bulls 3-1 at Toyota Park.
|Patrick Nyarko scored in the fourth minute to start the Fire on their way to a 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
Chicago Fire photo
With the win, the Fire improve to 6-5-3 and 21 pts, and end a two-game losing streak. New York's five- game winning skein and six-game unbeaten run comes to an end as they fall to 8-4-2, 26pts.
Patrick Nyarko gave the Fire the lead just four minutes into the game. Sebastian Grazzini chipped a ball from the left corner of the penalty area. Nyarko went up and over New York defender Roy Miller and headed the ball into the net.
New York equalized in the 55th minute, and it looked like it was going to be another typical Fire game, in which they could not hold a lead. A corner kick by Mehdi Ballouchy found the head of Dax McCarthy. McCarthy put the ball on frame, and was credited with the goal, although it appeared Markus Holgersson got a toe on it.
Less than nine minutes later it appeared as though the Fire regained the lead, but a controversial call negated what should have been a goal. Domenic Oduro ran onto a through ball and went in alone on New York goalkeeper Ryan Meara. The ball touched off the New York netminder and continued toward the goal. New York defender Wilman Conde slid in and swept the ball out of the goal, after it appeared to have completely crossed the line. Referee Baldomero Toledo was well behind the play and assistant referee Fabio Tovar, who was six yards behind and obstructed by Conde's body, still ruled no goal.
Oduro was given a yellow card for arguing the call.
But the Fire snapped back. Less than four minutes later, they took the lead for good. Pappa took a short free kick on the near side. Gonzalo Segares took shot which Meara blocked, but the Costa Rican defender controlled the rebound and scored on his second effort.
Chris Rolfe, who entered the game in the 61st minute for Grazzini, marked his return to the Fire with his first goal. Nyarko went one on one with a New York defender and crossed the ball to Rolfe at the near post for a tap in the 81st minute.
Looking like the MLS break did them good, the Fire controlled the game all the way through, allowing New York few chances to score, while creating numerous opportunities of their own.
Pavel Pardo sent a shot over the bar in the 13th minute, and Grazzini tried to challenge the young New York goalkeeper from distance, but Meara made the stop at the left post.
The speed of Oduro continually tested New York. In the 35th minute, Grazzini put a ball headed for the speedster, but the pass was a little too heavy, and Meara was able to stop the shot. In the 72nd minute, Oduro had similar breakaway and got off a shot in full stride, that Meara blocked.
New York had a pair of excellent chances that Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson came up big on. In the 40th minute, Jan Gunnar Solli volleyed a shot from the right side, that took a slight deflection off Segares. Johnson made a full stretch dive to push the ball away from the left post. In the 54th minute, Kenny Cooper – who is tied for the league goal scoring lead with 11 --drove a shot from the top of the 18 that Johnson also pushed way at the left post.