FINAL: Timbers 1 - 0 Fire
The Chicago Fire (2-6-12, 18 points) were
twice denied by the woodwork and tested goalkeeper Troy Perkins eight times but
it wasn’t enough to make up for Jack Jewsbury’s 25th minute penalty
as they fell 1-0 to the Portland Timbers (6-9-3, 21 points) Saturday night at
Both sides experienced tentative moments at
the start but the Fire looked to take the advantage early as Timbers starting
center back Kevin Goldthwaite came off in the 10th minute with a
left knee injury.
Despite having to make an early sub, it was Portland who had the first real
chance of the match when Diego Chara picked up a loose ball at the top of the
18, cut into the box and tried to poke a shot under charging Fire goalkeeper
Sean Johnson. The second-year ‘keeper was up for the challenge and corralled
the ball to keep the score level.
Portland took advantage 10 minutes later
when Diego Chara’s effort from 30 yards out was blocked by Fire defender Yamith
Cuesta. The ball pinged back off of Chara, finding Jorge Perlaza at the top of
the Fire penalty area. The Colombian attacker took a touch while Fire defender
Gonzalo Segares stepped in and referee Elias Bazakos saw enough contact on the
play to whistle for a penalty. Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury stepped up
to the penalty spot and placed a low effort to the left of Johnson to put the
Timbers up 1-0 in the 25th minute.
The Fire came back to test Perkins a minute
later as midfielder Daniel Paladini played a ball to Cristian Nazarit at the
top of the box. The Colombian fed Paladini who blasted a low drive that Timbers
keeper Troy Perkins was equal to.
Fire midfielder Marco Pappa took matters
into his own hands in the 37th minute with a great individual run
through three Timbers defenders before floating a curling shot towards the top
right corner that Perkins had to lay out for in full extension.
The Fire came closest to the equalizer in
the 44th minute when a swing corner kick from Paladini on the left
found the head of defender Cory Gibbs at the near post. The veteran defender
nodded a glancing effort toward the opposite post where it beat Perkins but not
the woodwork and the Fire went into the break trailing 1-0.
The Fire inserted striker Orr Barouch for
Paladini to start the second interval but the early story of the half was
Yamith Cuesta’s sending off. The Fire defender came in late in a challenge on
Portland midfielder James Marcelin in the 57th minute. He was sent
off in the 63rd minute when a combination between Jewsbury and
Perlaza saw the young Colombian stand in the way of the Timbers captain’s run.
Spurred by the ejection, the Fire nearly
found the equalizer in the 68th minute when Pappa’s free kick was
nodded down in the box by Cristian Nazarit. The effort found Barouch charging
towards the goal and the Israeli striker beat Perkins but blasted his attempt
off the crossbar.
Perkins played the spoiler very late as the
Toyota Park crowd saw the Timbers ‘keeper make two fantastic saves on Pappa to
keep the Fire off the board.
The first came in the 90th minute when Ghanaian striker Dominic Oduro sped up the left and squared a great
ball to the Guatemalan international. With time and space, Pappa blasted an
effort to the top left post which Perkins again dove in full extension to make
Into stoppage time, the ensuing corner kick
was cleared out of the box by Jewsbury before rolling to Pappa with acres of
space. The midfielder unleashed a vicious low blast which went untouched and
saw Perkins make a reactionary kick save to preserve a 1-0 victory.
Men in Red step away from league play next week as they welcome 19-time English
Champions Manchester United to Soldier Field as part of the World Football
Challenge on Saturday, July 23 at 4:00 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available by
calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473), or by heading to the club’s official website
Pause played his 213th regular season match for the Men in Red. With his
next league appearance, the Fire captain will tie Chris Armas for third on
the club’s all-time regular season appearance list.
Josip Mikulic and striker Diego Chaves were both suspended for the match
after offenses committed in last Saturday’s game at the LA Galaxy. Both
are eligible for selection when the Fire return to league play vs. the
Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, August 3.
Cuesta will serve a one-match suspension during the match against
Philadelphia after his red card in Saturday night’s contest.
Fire 0 – 1 Portland Timbers
Sean Johnson; Jalil Anibaba, Yamith Cuesta, Cory Gibbs, Gonzalo Segares; Marco
Pappa, Logan Pause © (Bratislav Ristic 88’), Daniel Paladini (Orr Barouch 46’),
Patrick Nyarko; Dominic Oduro, Cristian Nazarit
not used: Jon Conway, Dasan Robinson, Corben Bone, Baggio Husidic, Michael
Troy Perkins; Jeremy Hall, Kevin Goldthwaite (David Horst 10’), Mamadou Danso,
Rodney Wallace; Khalif Alhassan, Jack Jewsbury ©, James Marcelin, Diego Chara;
Jorge Perlaza (Kenny Cooper 64’), Darlington Nagbe (Sal Zizzo 72’)
Not Used: Adin Brown, Steve Purdy, Adam Moffat, Eddie Johnson
– Jack Jewsbury (penalty kick) 25’
– Cory Gibbs (Caution; Dissent) 30’
– Jeremy Hall (Caution; Tactical Foul) 45’
– Yamith Cuesta (Caution; Reckless Foul) 57’
– Yamith Cuesta (Caution; Reckless Foul) 63’
– Yamith Cuesta (Ejection; Second Yellow Card) 63’
– James Marcelin (Caution; Tactical Foul) 70’
– Diego Chara (Caution; Tactical Foul) 78’
– Cristian Nazarit (Caution; Tactical Foul) 85’
Assistants: George Ganser, Anthony Vasoli
Referee: Terry Vaughn