WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Chicago Fire (12-8-5; 41 points) got goals from Daniel Paladini and Gonzalo Segares but were undone by four D.C. United (12-8-4; 40 points) goals en route to a 4-2 defeat at RFK Stadium Wednesday night. The loss to D.C. United marked the first time during the 2012 campaign that the Fire had allowed more than two goals in a match.
The home side got on the board early as Chris Pontius struck a hopeful shot towards the far post. With the ball rolling toward the end line United forward Dwayne De Rosario charged in and powered the ball into the back of the net to give United the 1-0 lead 19 minutes in.
The Fire found its way back into the match with a beautiful exchange in the 44th minute. Patrick Nyarko collected the ball on the left side before cutting in and finding Marco Pappa. The Guatemalan international fed Sherjill MacDonald with his back to goal before cutting toward the top of the 18-yard box. Pappa got the ball back and found an open Daniel Paladini inside the area where he clinically placed the ball under Bill Hamid to level the score at 1-1. Paladini tallied his first goal in a Fire top and became the 13th different Fire player to score a goal in the 2012 campaign.
Before the ink could dry on Paladini’s finish, United had regained the lead on an Andy Najar cross. The Honduran Olympian had the ball taken away by Nyarko before regaining possession at the edge of the 18-yard box. Najar sent a looping cross to the back post where newly minted forward Lionard Pajoy headed the ball in for the 2-1 advantage.
United came out of the break confident and took advantage just six minutes into the second interval. United left back Chris Korb sent in a well-placed cross that found the head of Brandon McDonald in the middle of the area. The United center back calmly placed his header over the outstretched hands of Johnson to put the home side up 3-1.
The Men in Red were resilient in their attempt for a sixth comeback victory. In the 54th minute Nyarko squared a ball for Marco Pappa in the middle of the park and the Fire playmaker slammed his shot off the near post.
The Fire would eventually pull one back in the 75th minute when Pavel Pardo sent his free kick toward the back post. Segares crept in behind the United defense and sent his diving header back across Hamid and into the goal tightening the game 3-2.
The visitors were eventually put away in the 89th minute when De Rosario galloped down the left flank before finding Long Tan wide open inside the box. Tan’s slotted effort deflected off of Johnson’s glove, but eventually rolled in giving United a 4-2 lead.
The Fire continued to push until the final whistle blew, but attempts from Rolfe, Pardo and Oduro were all thwarted.
The Men in Red have the weekend off from league play but will return to Toyota Park in 10 days when they meet the Houston Dynamo at Toyota Park on Sunday, Sept. 2 at 6:00 p.m. CT (Galavision/NBC5.2/97.5 ESPN Deportes). Advance tickets are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire, by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com or Ticketmaster.
- Daniel Paladini scored his first goal in a Fire uniform and first of the 2012 MLS season. With the tally, the California produce became the 13th different Fire player to find goal in 2012.
- Gonzalo Segares equaled his career high goal output with his third of the season. Segares last scored three goals in a season in 2005, his rookie season.
- The Fire will play three of its next four league matches at Toyota Park where the team is 7-2-2.
- Sherjill MacDonald tallied his second assist with the Fire. The Dutch striker has a goal and two assists in five matches with the Men in Red.
- The Fire will finish the month of August with a 3-1-0 record. Nine games remain in the hunt for the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Chicago Fire 2 – 4 D.C. United
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Jalil Anibaba (Alvaro Fernandez, 63’), Arne Friedrich, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; Patrick Nyarko, Daniel Paladini (Alex, 85’), Pavel Pardo ©, Marco Pappa (Dominic Oduro, 74’); Chris Rolfe, Sherjill MacDonald
Substitutes not used: Jay Nolly, Dan Gargan, Michael Videira, Corben Bone,
D.C. United: Bill Hamid; Andy Najar, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Chris Korb; Chris Pontius (Mike Chabala 85’), Perry Kitchen, Marcelo Saragosa, Nick DeLeon; Dwayne De Rosario (Hamdi Salihi, 91’), Lionard Pajoy (Long Tan, 77’)
Substitutes not used: Joe Willis, Mike Chabala, Ethan White, Josh Wolff, Stephen King, Hamdi Salihi, Long Tan
DCU – Dwayne De Rosario (Chris Pontius) 19’
CHI – Daniel Paladini (Marco Pappa, Sherjill MacDonald) 44’
DCU – Lionard Pajoy (Andy Najar) 45+’
DCU – Brandon McDonald (Chris Korb) 51’
CHI – Gonzalo Segares (Pavel Pardo) 75’
DCU – Long Tan (Dwayne De Rosario) 89’
DCU – Bill Hamid (caution) 80’
CHI – Sherjill MacDonald (caution) 81’
CHI – Pavel Pardo (caution) 83’
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistants: Craig Lowry, Jeff Muschik
Fourth Official: Jose Carlos Rivero