PORTLAND, Ore. – Jalil Anibaba notched a first half equalizer for the Chicago Fire (4-3-3; 15 points), but an Eric Brunner strike and a Logan Pause own goal gave the Portland Timbers (3-5-3; 12 points) a 2-1 victory over the Fire at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Ore. Sunday afternoon.
The Timbers got on the board inside the first 20 minutes of the match as a failed clearance on a corner kick allowed Timbers center back Eric Brunner to collect a loose ball and knock it past Sean Johnson and into the net at the back post in the 19th minute. The build-up to the goal started when Hayner Mosquera headed the deep corner kick into the center of the 18-yard box where Kris Boyd scuffed his shot before Brunner gave the Timbers the early 1-0 advantage.
Pavel Pardo nearly tied the game at 1-1 in the 36th minute. Patrick Nyarko collected a short clearance from the defense and slotted a pin-point pass to Pavel Pardo wide-open in the box. The Mexican international took a touch and fired on goal, however, Timbers ‘keeper Troy Perkins was equal to the challenge and dove to palm the ball away to preserve the home sides’ 1-0 advantage.
The Fire would eventually find the equalizer in the 40th minute as Marco Pappa intercepted a Steven Smith pass in the offensive third. The Guatemalan midfielder would laser a pass into the area where Anibaba displayed a nice bit of finishing, turning and placing the ball past Perkins at the back post. The strike is Anibaba’s third career MLS goal and the first since tallying a brace against the Columbus Crew Oct. 22, 2011.
A Fire own goal on a corner kick would give the Timbers the 2-1 advantage in the 51st minute. Second half substitute Sal Zizzo found Kris Boyd at the near post. The Scottish striker sent his glancing header toward goal where Logan Pause deflected it past Sean Johnson and into the goal.
For the sixth game of the season the Men in Red came back from a goal deficit to tie the match, but for the first time all season Frank Klopas’ side was unable to rally to earn points as the second set piece goal proved the difference.
The Fire return to Toyota Park to face Brimstone Cup rivals FC Dallas on Wednesday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. CT (NBC 5.2; ESPN Deportes 97.5 FM). The Men in Red will round out their three games in seven days stretch when they make the trip to Columbus to take on the Crew on Saturday, May 26 at 6:00 p.m. CT live on NBC5 Chicago and 97.5 ESPN Deportes. Chicago Fire Season Tickets are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473), viaTicketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at Chicago-Fire.com.
- For the sixth game of the season the Men in Red showed resolve after going down a goal. The Fire have come back to or win the game in five of the six previous occasions.
- Jalil Anibaba scored his first goal of the 2012 season.
- The Men in Red exhibited continued frustration in the Pacific Northwest. In six matches played in the Cascadia region the Fire are 0-5-1.
- Fire rookie Austin Berry started his fourth consecutive match for the Fire.
- Logan Pause appeared in his 237th match in a Fire shirt.
Chicago Fire 1 – 2 Portland Timbers
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Dan Gargan (Orr Barouch, 81’), Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; Logan Pause © (Rafael Robayo, 68’), Pavel Pardo, Marco Pappa; Sebastian Grazzini; Dominic Oduro (Federico Puppo, 60’), Patrick Nyarko
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Hunter Jumper, Daniel Paladini
Portland Timbers: Troy Perkins; Mike Chabala, Hanyer Mosquera, Eric Brunner, Steven Smith; Franck Songo’o (Sal Zizzo, 46’), Diego Chara ©, Lovel Palmer, Rodney Wallace; Darlington Nagbe (Jorge Perlaza, 67’), Kris Boyd
Substitutes not used: Joseph Bendik, David Horst, Eric Alexander, Kalif Alhassan, Mike Fucito
POR – Eric Brunner (assist) 19’
CHI – Jalil Anibaba (Marco Pappa) 40’
POR – Logan Pause (OG) 52’
POR – Mike Chabala (caution) 45’
CHI – Patrick Nyarko (caution) 45’
CHI – Gonzalo Segares (caution) 48’
POR – Sal Zizzo (caution) 79’
CHI – Sebastian Grazzini (caution) 80’
CHI – Austin Berry (caution) 85’
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistants: Darren Clark, Kevin Duliba
Fourth Official: Paul Ward