BRIDGEVIEW Ill. – Midfielder Marko Perovic stole a late goal as the New England Revolution defeated the Chicago Fire, 1-0, in SuperLiga action Saturday night at Toyota Park.
Perovic put the Revs ahead in the 76th minute. Substitute forward Kheli Dube stole the ball from Fire defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe outside the 18 and the ball fell to Perovic, who promptly hit a low left-footed drive inside the right post from 25 yards.
The Fire couldn’t muster any serious chances in the remaining 14+ minutes, ultimately dropping their fourth game in a row.
Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos made five changes to the side that lost to Morelia 5-1 on Wednesday. Sean Johnson, Corben Bone, Deris Umanzor and Collins John were the newcomers to the starting lineup, with Wilman Conde moving from midfield to the back line.
Revolution head coach Steve Nicol made two changes to the lineup that defeated Pumas UNAM 1-0 Wednesday, bringing regular goalkeeper Matt Reis and midfielder Kenny Mansally back into the side.
The Fire had the best of the early action and nearly took the lead in the 13th minute. A bouncing ball fell to midfielder Mike Banner outside the area and he let rip, smashing a left-footed volley off the left post from 23 yards.
Chicago registered another chance in the 21st. John hit a cross from the right edge of the area toward midfielder Deris Umanzor at the penalty spot. Umanzor got on the end of it, but not before New England defender Darrius Barnes got the tiniest of touches to the ball, forcing Umanzor’s shot over the bar.
Winger Marco Pappa nearly put the Fire ahead seconds before the break. The All-Star First XI selection ran onto Wilman Conde’s lofted through ball on the right wing, cut in with his left foot and curled a shot just wide of the far post from 20 yards.
Despite his side’s strong first half, de los Cobos made three halftime substitutions. Brian McBride, Justin Mapp and Tim Ward entered with Corben Bone, Krzysztof Krol, and Steven Kinney exiting. The moves forced the Fire into a 4-4-2, with McBride joining John up top and Umanzor filling Krol’s role as left back.
New England had the first chance of the half. Mansally struck a low shot from just outside the area that Johnson fumbled, causing the crowd to emit an audible gasp. However, the 'rookie keeper collected the ball before any serious damage could be done.
The Fire should have got on the board in the 54th. Marco Pappa picked out an unmarked Justin Mapp at the back post with a cross from the right wing, but Mapp couldn’t convert, sending his free header over the bar from 8 yards out.
The win puts the Revs (2-0-0) through to the semifinals after two of three Group B games. The Fire (0-2-0) will need to beat Pumas UNAM on Tuesday and get a lot of help to have any chance of going through.
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
SuperLiga Game 5: NE Revolution 1, Chicago Fire 0
Toyota Park – Bridgeview, IL
Saturday, July 17, 2010
NE -- Marko Perovic 1 (Kheli Dube 1) 77
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, Emmanuel Osei, Kevin Alston, Sainey Nyassi, Shalrie Joseph, Chris Tierney, Marko Perovic, Joseph Niouky (Pat Phelan 69) (Seth Sinovic 93+), Kenny Mansally (Khano Smith 62), Zack Schilawski (Kheli Dube 65).
Substitutes Not Used: Michael Videira, Bobby Shuttleworth, Tim Murray.
Chicago Fire -- Sean Johnson, Steven Kinney (Tim Ward 46), Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Wilman Conde, Krzysztof Krol (Justin Mapp 46), Corben Bone (Brian McBride 46), Marco Pappa, Peter Lowry, Mike Banner, Deris Umanzor, Collins John (Stefan Dimitrov 80).
Substitutes Not Used: C.J. Brown, Andrew Dykstra.
CHI -- Wilman Conde (caution; Tactical Foul) 19
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: -Kermit Quisenberry; Thomas Supple
4th Official: Alex Prus
Time of Game: 1:49
- Chicago Fire announced its new DP, Mexican forward Nery Castillo, once its SL game finished tonight via in-stadium jumbotron, web/news release and a live national interview on Telefutura with Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos.