CHICAGO, Ill. (March 9, 2013) – The Chicago Fire (0-2-0, 0 points) fell to the New England Revolution (1-0-0, 3 points) 1-0 at Toyota Park Saturday evening. A 62nd minute goal from Revolution forward Jerry Bengtson was the difference as the Revolution won their first MLS Regular Season match at Toyota Park since July 8, 2006.
HIGHLIGHTS: Fire 0, Revs 1
The Fire came out charged from the early going and nearly went ahead in the third minute. Steven Kinney worked his way up the right side before a quick combination with Chris Rolfe pushed the fourth-year defender into the box. Kinney quickly cut back for Sherjill MacDonald who pushed his first-time effort over the bar.
Two minutes later the Revolution responded with a chance of their own as Lee Nguyen found himself in space on the right before crossing for Jerry Bengtson. The Honduran international split between Austin Berry and Jalil Anibaba but pushed his header right at Sean Johnson.
In the 26th minute Joel Lindpere looped a ball for Rolfe up the right flank. The savvy forward worked his way to the end line before cutting back and chipping his effort just over the far post.
Rolfe would provide danger again just one minute later as he dribbled into the box on the right before losing the ball to Jose Julio Goncalves. Patrick Nyarko sneakily dispossessed the Revs defender and centered for MacDonald at the six yard box but the Dutch forward’s first-time effort was too soft and was easily collected by Matt Reis.
The Fire would get their best chance of the half in the 31st minute as Rolfe intercepted a pass out of the back at midfield before laying off for Dilly Duka. The winger took the space inside before unleashing a right-footed rocket that Reis got a touch to sending the ball clanging off the crossbar.
Rolfe would cause trouble once more before the break, dispossessing Andrew Farrell just outside the box before sliding the ball for Lindpere. The Estonian international collected before hitting a low blast to force Reis into a bobbling save, taking the teams into the half deadlocked at 0-0.
In the 50th minute, second-half sub Maicon Santos lofted the ball over the top of the Revolution defense to Lindpere, who slid it through to an onrushing Duka, but it was just out of his reach and it was easily collected by Reis.
The visitors broke through and found the lone goal of the match in the 62nd minute. Kelyn Rowe lofted a cross into the Fire penalty box and found Jerry Bengston, and the Honduran international was able to head the ball just out of Johnson’s reach.
With five minutes of stoppage time added to the match, the Fire continued to press for the equalizer. In the waning moments of the match, Lindpere won the ball and played it through to Santos on the left flank. Santos let loose a low drive but Reis was able dive onto the ball to preserve the score line.
The Fire return to action when they head to Sporting Park to take on Sporting Kansas City in a Rivalry Week clash on Saturday, March 15 at 2:00 p.m. CT live on NBC Sports Network and 107.9 La Ley. The Men in Red return home to Toyota Park when they take on Chivas USA on Saturday, March 24 live on My50 Chicago and 107.9 La Ley. Tickets for the match are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire or by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com.
- This was the first MLS Regular Season loss to the New England Revolution since a 2-1 loss July 8, 2006.
- The Fire move to 2-1-3 in home openers against the Revolution.
- The Fire are 19-16-9 all-time against the Revolution, and 11-5-6 in matches played at home.
- Arne Friedrich (hamstring) and Logan Pause (quad) were again kept out of the 18 due to injury.
- Jeff Larentowicz donned the armband for the second straight match in the stead of captain Logan Pause.
Chicago Fire 0 – 1 New England Revolution
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Jalil Anibaba, Steven Kinney, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; Patrick Nyarko, Jeff Larentowicz ©, Joel Lindpere, Dilly Duka (Yazid Atouba, 58’); Chris Rolfe (Alex, 65’), Sherjill MacDonald (Maicon Santos, 45’)
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Michael Videira, Daniel Paladini, Wells Thompson
New England Revolution: Matt Reis; Andrew Farrell, A.J. Sores, Jose Julio Goncalves, Kevin Alston; Juan Toja (Diego Fagundez, 79’), Kalifa Cisse, Clyde Simms ©, Donnie Smith (Kelyn Rowe, 53’); Jerry Bengston (Chad Barrett, 90’), Lee Nguyen
Substitutes not used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Darrius Barnes, Scott Caldwell, Andy Dorman
NE – Jerry Bengston (Kelyn Rowe) 62’
CHI – Jeff Larentowicz (caution) 55’
NE – Diego Fagundez (caution) 86’
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry, Paul Scott
Fourth Official: Jorge Gonzalez