Two second-half goals from Sebastian Szalachowski and a goal from Maciej Iwanski did in the Chicago Fire as they fell to Legia Warsaw in the Consolation Match of the Chicago Sister Cities International Cup at TOYOTA PARK.
The Fire played a strong first half filled with opportunities, as Fire Head Coach Carlos de los Cobos inserted a number of new players into the starting lineup from Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain. Justin Mapp, playing in his first game since he was injured in the Fire’s May 1 fixture against Chivas USA, asserted himself throughout the first interval. Mapp played with pace and composure on the flank, creating a number of chances for the Fire. In the 39th minute, Peter Lowry sprung Mapp on the right side and the Mississippi product sent a driven shot on goal that was deflected wide by Legia goalkeeper Kostyantyn Makhonovskyi leaving both sides goalless after 45 minutes of play.
The Polish club took the lead in the 59th minute when Maciej Gorski laid the ball off to Iwanski inside the Fire 18-yard box. Iwanski cracked a low driven effort into the back of the net to give Legia a 1-0 lead.
Ten minutes later Legia increased their lead as Gorski stole the ball from Wilman Conde and slotted a perfect pass to Szalachowski, who took the pass and finished the play with a shot past Dykstra to give the visiting club a two goal advantage.
With the Fire trailing by two goals, de los Cobos brought on Brian McBride, Collins John and Marco Pappa in an effort to get on the score sheet. The Dutch forward fired two clear-cut shots on goal in his 27 minutes of play, but the Fire were unable to put anything past Makhonovskyi, who had eight saves for the Warsaw-based club.
In the 86th minute Szalachowski took a pass from Maciej Rybus, drew out Dykstra with a sly cut-back and sent his shot into the back of the empty net to give the Polish sister city a 3-0 victory over the Fire. Szalachowski’s second of the night secured Legia third place in the inaugural Chicago Sister Cities International Cup.
The Fire return to MLS league play on Thursday, May 27 when they challenge Brimstone Cup rivals FC Dallas at TOYOTA PARK at 7:00 PM CT and will be nationally televised on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. On Sunday, May 30 at 7:30 PM the Fire will host Italian giants AC Milan at TOYOTA PARK. The seven-time European Champions will become the fourth Sister City to play at TOYOTA PARK in the month of May.
For tickets please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473) or head to the club’s official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.
Chicago Fire 0 : 3 Legia Warsaw
May 22, 2010 – TOYOTA PARK – Bridgeview, IL
Chicago Fire: Andrew Dykstra; Logan Pause, CJ Brown (Wilman Conde, 46’), Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Deris Umanzor; Mike Banner, Peter Lowry (Brian McBride, 71’) , Baggio Husidic (Steven Kinney, 85’), Justin Mapp (Julio Martinez, 89’), Corben Bone (Marco Pappa, 57’); Stefan Dimitrov (Collins John, 63’)
Substitutes Not Used: Sean Johnson, Krzysztof Krol
Legia Warsaw: Kostyantyn Makhonovskyi (Jackub Szumski, 89’); Jakub Rzezniczak, Wojciech Szala, Jakub Wawrzyniak, Tomasz Kielbowicz; (Adam Banasiak, 86’), Jakub Kosecki (Sebastian Szalachowski, 46’), Piotr Giza (Marcin Komorowski, 76’), Tomasz Jarzebowski, Maciej Iwanski, Maciej Rybus; Dong Fangzhou (Bartlomiej Grzelak, 46’, Maciej Gorski, 55’)
Substitutes Not Used: Michal Zyro, Miroslav Radovic
LW – Maciej Iwanski (Maciej Gorski) 59’
LW – Sebastian Szalachowski (Maciej Gorski) 63’
LW – Sebastian Szalachowski (Maciej Rybus) 86’
LW – Maciej Iwanski (caution) 75’
Referee: Chris Penzo
Referee’s Assistants: Dan Cataldi, Doug Ferguson
4th Referee: Ian Gust