Fire edged by Seattle Sounders

Late rally falls short as Fire drop result at home

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CHICAGO, Ill. – The Chicago Fire (2-2-2; 8pts.) used Marco Pappa’s stunning 89th minute corner kick to rally late but couldn’t overcome a 2-0 deficit as the Chicago Fire fell 2-1 to Seattle Sounders FC (4-1-1; 13pts.) Saturday night at Toyota Park.

The Fire attacked from the start and nearly drew first blood in the third minute when Sebastian Grazzini collected the ball just outside of the box. The Argentine switched field to Daniel Paladini before the veteran midfielder played Segares down the left. The Costa Rican international crossed for Dominic Oduro at the top of the six-yard box but the Ghanaian striker could only get a piece of it before heading the ball over the goal.

The Fire again came close 10 minutes later as Patrick Nyarko showed for a Dan Gargan pass on the right. The fleet Ghanaian collected and turned towards goal before playing a weighted through ball for Oduro who ran onto it into the box before his powerful effort forced a save out of Sounders FC ‘keeper Michael Gsuprning.

Just a minute later it was Nyarko working into the box on the right before centering a pass that Oduro back heeled for Paladini, who took a touch to settle before firing an effort that Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso dove in front of to put out for a corner kick.

Nine minutes later the Fire nearly went ahead again when a corner kick from Grazzini found Pavel Pardo at the near post. The former Mexican international got his head to it before Gspurning punched the ball for another corner kick.

Sounders striker Fredy Montero came close to opening his 2012 account in the 27th minute when Leo Gonzalez whipped in a cross from the left found the Colombian attacker before heading it over Sean Johnson’s goal.

Feeding off the momentum from the previous chance, Seattle found the go-ahead goal in the 39th minute. Osvaldo Alonso played Eddie Johnson where he collected the ball at the endline. The U.S. international then cut back for David Estrada whose low effort deflected off of Fire defender Arne Friedrich, caught Sean Johnson wrong-footed and tucked inside the near post to take the Sounders into the half at 1-0. The attempt was credited as an own goal to the German international.

Seattle came close to doubling their lead in the 61st minute when a whipping cross from the left from substitute Mark Burch found the head of Montero who looked to put it wide. His striker partner Johnson followed up the effort and put another header off the back post before the ball was cleared by Pardo.

Having been in the match for just two minutes, substitute midfielder Marco Pappa looked to equalize in the 63rd. Grazzini took a free kick from 30 yards that was nodded out of the box before Pappa stepped up and fired a blistering effort that knuckled through traffic and under the diving arm of Gspurning. However, the goal was called back as Oduro was adjudged to have been interfering with the play in an offside position.

The visitors doubled their lead in the 66th minute when a free kick from Montero was saved with a diving effort from Sean Johnson but Jhon Kennedy Hurtado followed before Eddie Johnson tapped in the rebound.

Pappa looked to respond in the 85th minute, finding lots of space and Gspurning of his line, the Guatemalan international took an ambitious effort from inside the Fire half which sizzled inches wide of the Seattle net.

Four minutes later Pappa would finally get the Fire on the board as he bent a swerving seeing-eye corner kick over Gspurning’s outstretched arms off the back post and over the line in the 89th minute.

Reeling off of the wonder-strike, the Fire found one last chance deep into stoppage time as Nyarko played a long ball over the top for Oduro. The Fire striker brought it down before laying off a pass for Jalil Anibaba whose rushed strike was hit straight at Gspurning, clinching a 2-1 Sounders FC victory.

The Fire return to action when they visit C.D. Chivas USA on Friday, May 4 at 10:00 p.m. CT (ESPN Deportes/97.5 ESPN Deportes FM) The Men in Red return to Toyota Park for the Ring of Fire induction of 13-year club veteran C.J. Brown as the side takes on Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. CT (NBC 5.2; ESPN Deportes 97.5 FM) Chicago Fire Season Tickets are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473), via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at Chicago-Fire.com.

Notes: 

  • Marco Pappa’s 89th minute goal was the 21st of his Fire career and moves him into a tie with Nate Jaqua for seventh all-time on the club’s MLS goal scoring list. The strike is also his first goal since a hat trick performance on September 28, 2011 at Real Salt Lake.  
  • Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson made two saves in the loss.
  • The Fire remain winless against Seattle Sounders FC, going 0-4-3 in seven MLS regular season meetings.
  • Midfielder Daniel Paladini made his first start of the 2012 campaign.

Chicago Fire 1 – 2 Seattle Sounders FC

Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Dan Gargan, Arne Friedrich, Jalil Anibaba, Gonzalo Segares; Logan Pause © (Marco Pappa 61’), Pavel Pardo, Daniel Paladini (Federico Puppo 72’); Sebastian Grazzini (Rafael Robayo 80’); Patrick Nyarko, Dominic Oduro

Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Austin Berry, Hunter Jumper, Orr Barouch

Seattle Sounders FC: Michael Gspurning; Adam Johannson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leonardo Gonzalez; Mauro Rosales © (Marc Burch 51’), Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, David Estrada; Eddie Johnson (Sammy Ochoa 92+’), Fredy Montero

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Zach Scott, Andy Rose, Alex Caskey, Cordell Cato

Scoring Summary
SEA – own goal (Arne Friedrich) 39’
SEA – Eddie Johnson (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado) 67’
CHI – Marco Pappa (unassisted) 89’

Misconduct Summary
SEA – David Estrada (caution; Time Wasting) 60'
CHI – Marco Pappa (caution; Unsportsmanlike Conduct) 91'+
SEA – Fredy Montero (caution; Unsportsmanlike Conduct) 91'+
SEA – Eddie Johnson (caution; Unsportsmanlike Conduct) 92'+
CHI - Jalil Anibaba (ejection; Unsportsmanlike Conduct) 97'
CHI - Frank Klopas (ejection; Unsportsmanlike Conduct) 97'

Referee: Michael Kennedy
Assistants: Gregory Barkley, Peter Balciunas
Fourth Official: Abiodun Okulaja
Attendance: 14,166