October 20, 2012
Sluggish Fire fall to Revolution
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.—Sometimes things just don’t click. Saturday was one of those times for the Chicago Fire, who managed just one shot on goal on their way to a costly 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
|Gonzalo Segares had Chicago’s best look at goal against New England, but could not put the ball on goal.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Not only did the Fire drop the match to the underachieving Revs, they also dropped out of second place in the MLS East after DC United rallied to beat Columbus 3-2 at RFK Stadium.
The Fire’s lackadaisical approach to the match burned them early, as teenager Diego Fagundez pulled up ahead of three slow-footed Chicago defenders and sent the 25-yard game-winner dipping into the left inside netting past Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the 17th minute.
That turned out to be the only shot on goal of the first half, but the Revolution dominated possession, locked down the midfield and dictated the pace of the game through the first 45 minutes. Defenders Kevin Alston and AJ Soares neutralized speedy winger Patrick Nyarko down the flank, and the Fire never recovered the explosiveness that had lifted them into second place in the MLS East. Meanwhile, Blair Gavin, in his first Revolution appearance, formed an immediate bond in central midfield with Clyde Simms, combining to stifle Chris Rolfe and the Chicago passing game.
The Fire stepped up their possession after the intermission, but didn’t have a solid look at goal until the 72nd minute, when left back Gonzalo Segares got behind the New England defense only to slice his left-footed effort wide of goal. Two early corner kicks went for naught, and Nyarko’s long attempt in the 52nd minute sailed harmlessly over the bar.
Chris Rolfe appeared ready to orchestrate an equalizer for the Fire at the hour mark, taking a pass from Alvaro Fernandez down the left flank and launching a cross toward the far post for Sherjill MacDonald, but MacDonald could not make contact.
In the 85th minute, Fernandez centered a ball from the right flank that Nyarko tried to side-volley into the net, but Shuttleworth stayed on his line and easily snatched up the bouncing shot.
The Revolution should have doubled their lead on the cusp of stoppage time when Fagundez blazed forward on the counterattack and laid a cross in the path of an onrushing Jerry Bengston, but the Honduran striker skied the sitter over the bar.