FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (June 2, 2012) – The Chicago Fire (5-3-3; 18pts.) pressured throughout the match but fell victim to a pair of second half goals in the space of four minutes as they fell 2-0 to the New England Revolution (5-7-1; 16pts.) Saturday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
The Revolution nearly drew first blood in the third minute when winger Lee Nguyen pushed the ball up the left for Saer Sene. The French striker centered into the box for Jose Moreno who laid off for Benny Feilhaber but the U.S. international pulled his right-footed effort just wide of sprawling Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
The Fire responded in the 17th minute after Sebastian Grazzini was hauled down on the left by Fernando Cardenas resulting in a dangerous free kick 30 yards from goal. Midfielder Pavel Pardo’s take on the dead ball found the head of Gonzalo Segares who flicked it past Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis but off the back post.
The visitors remained dangerous toward the half-hour mark when a lazy ball out of the back from Cardenas was intercepted by Fire forward Dominic Oduro. The speedy Ghanaian strolled up the right before his chipped effort to the back post curled just wide in the 29th minute.
The last chance of the half came in the 36th minute as Orr Barouch dug a ball out at the top of the New England box. The Israeli youth international then laid off for Grazzini who hit a first-time effort that Reis smothered on the hop to take the teams into the locker room knotted at 0-0.
Frank Klopas’ side came out of the interval raring to go and nearly went ahead early on when Pardo cut into the box on the right, chipping for Barouch at the back post. The ball popped up back into the area, finding an open Oduro. The Ghanaian measured his header past Reis but off the post in the 47th minute.
Grazzini would provide danger four minutes later as Barouch cut a through ball for him toward the box. The Argentine playmaker fired a low blast that deflected off Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph before Reis made a bobbled save. With Oduro waiting on the door step, the New England keeper followed up by swatting the ball away from danger.
The Fire continued to pour on the pressure in the 59th minute as Oduro played a square ball to the left for Patrick Nyarko. The Ghanaian attacker collected and with space to shoot, drove a quick effort that forced another diving stop from Reis.
New England would gain steam after the hour mark when Sene slipped a ball through midfield which found newly substituted Revolution attacker Kelyn Rowe in stride. The rookie drove one-on-one toward Johnson’s goal and fired a low effort that the Fire keeper kept out with a kick save in the 65thminute.
Four minutes later the Fire would see reacquired forward Chris Rolfe make his return to the field for the Men in Red, coming on in the 69th minute for Dominic Oduro. Just seconds after his entry though, the Revolution would find the go-ahead goal when Feilhaber played Rowe into the box with a perfect through ball out of midfield. The substitute strolled in and flicked his effort inside the right post to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
The pair would link up again four minutes later to put the game away. This time it was Feilhaber who played a quick combination with Rowe before the rookie slotted him into the box on the right. Running onto the ball, the U.S. international calmly slotted his effort inside the back post to give the Revolution a 2-0 lead in the 73rd minute.
Johnson would be called upon again in the 75th minute when Nguyen intercepted a clearance out of the back before leaving the ball for Stephen McCarthy. The midfielder posted up with his back to goal before turning and blasting an effort to the top right corner that Johnson sprawled save, ending the game with a 2-0 score line.
The Fire return to action on Sunday, June 17 when they welcome the New York Red Bulls to Toyota Park at 4:00 p.m. CT live on NBC Sports Network and 97.5 ESPN Deportes.
- The match was the 60th competitive game played between the Fire and Revolution all-time – the most games the Men in Red have played against any one opponent. The Fire hold a 28-22-10 advantage across all competitions and 18-14-9 mark over the Revolution during MLS regular season play.
- Forward Chris Rolfe made his first appearance since rejoining the team from Danish side Aalborg BK on April 16. His entry into the game in the 69th minute marked his 150th competitive appearance in a Fire shirt.
- Goalkeeper Sean Johnson made six saves in the losing effort.
- Fire forward Orr Barouch earned his first start of the season and the third in his 34 career MLS appearances.
- Fire striker Dominic Oduro appeared in his 46th consecutive regular season game for the Fire. The Ghanaian attacker has played in every Fire regular season match since joining the club via trade from Houston one game into the 2011 campaign.
New England Revolution 2 – 0 Chicago Fire
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Dan Gargan, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; Logan Pause © (Rafael Robayo 74’), Pavel Pardo, Patrick Nyarko; Sebastian Grazzini; Orr Barouch (Federico Puppo 77’), Dominic Oduro (Chris Rolfe 69’)
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Hunter Jumper, Michael Videira, Daniel Paladini
New England Revolution: Matt Reis; Kevin Alston, Stephen McCarthy, A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney; Fernando Cardenas (Kelyn Rowe 64’)’, Shalrie Joseph ©, Benny Feilhaber, Lee Nguyen; Saer Sene, Jose Moreno (Blake Brettschneider 77’)
Substitutes not used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Darrius Barnes, Diego Fagundez, John Lozano, Jeremiah White
NE – Kelyn Rowe (Benny Feilhaber) 69’
NE – Benny Feilhaber (Kelyn Rowe) 73’
CHI – Orr Barouch (caution) 60’
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistants: Craig Lowry, Greg Barkley
Fourth Official: Jorge Gonzalez