HOUSTON, Texas (April 14, 2013) – The Chicago Fire (1-4-1, 4 points) fell 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo (4-2-0, 12 points) at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas Sunday afternoon. Fire forward Chris Rolfe equalized in the 29th minute just three minutes after the Dynamo’s Will Bruin opened scoring, but the Fire were unable to find a second comeback after an 81st minute Brad Davis strike gave the hosts the lead.
Both teams traded chances throughout the first half. In the 13th minute, the Dynamo won a free kick at the top of the arc. Davis sent in his patented left-footed strike that curled around the wall and looked destined for the back of the net, but Fire ‘keeper Sean Johnson dove to his right and was able to push the ball away with one hand.
The hosts got on the board first in the 26th minute when Davis drove in a cross to the top of the six-yard box to Bruin, who powered his header down and into the back of the net to give the Dynamo the 1-0 lead.
Just minutes later, Rolfe scored his first goal of the season with the 29th minute equalizer. Deep in the Dynamo half, Gonzalo Segares sent a throw-in to Sherjill MacDonald inside the penalty area. With his back towards goal, the Dutchman held off his defender, brought the ball down and centered it to Daniel Paladini at the penalty spot. Paladini took a touch and played it into the path of an onrushing Rolfe, and the Fire forward sent his right-footed blast past Dynamo ‘keeper Tally Hall and into the back of the net.
In the 63rd minute Dynamo midfielder Andrew Driver shook his defender and went racing unopposed towards goal but Johnson quickly got down to block the shot.
The hosts broke the deadlock in the 81st minute. Kofi Sarkodie received the ball on the right flank and centered his pass to Davis. The Dynamo captain whipped in a cross from 25 yards out that went into the goal untouched.
Again looking for the equalizer, the Fire continued to press and got their best chance in the 84th minute. Joel Lindpere drove in a corner kick and found Jeff Larentowicz on the edge of the six-yard box but his header banged off the crossbar.
The Men in Red return to action when they welcome the Columbus Crew to Toyota Park on Saturday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for the match are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire or by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com.
- The Fire are 4-7-5 all-time against the Houston Dynamo and 2-4-2 in matches played on the road
- Chris Rolfe’s goal in the 29th minute was his first of the 2013 season and his 45th all-time regular season goal scored for the Men in Red.
- Midfielder Dilly Duka entered the match in the 85th minute for his first appearance since the March 16 match against Sporting Kansas City. Duka missed two matches due to hamstring tightness.
- Midfielder Patrick Nyarko (hamstring) and defender Gonzalo Segares (quadriceps) returned to action after missing the April 7 match with respective injuries.
- Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas utilized his sixth different starting lineup as the Fire roster works toward full health.
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
Thoughts on the match
“I felt that we deserved better, but the little things towards the end obviously hurt us. I think that we should have walked away with at least a point, but what are you going to do.”
On trying to break Houston’s unbeaten streak
“We just wanted to come and play well, stay compact, but you don’t think about that. Maybe there is more pressure on them to come out and get the record. Dealing with the temperature was the one thing we wanted to focus on. We wanted to be better in possession and not make a really high tempo game because that would affect us.”
“I thought we did well in the first half. The second half they had a little more of the game, but still we had some good quality chances, the one with Maicon [Santos] and out of nothing we give up a set piece for the second goal. It is what it is, we just have to regroup and get ready for the next game.”
On not being able to force Houston out of their game plan
“Yeah, that’s the game. You come out here and play with them and you have to defend crosses in the box, you have to make sure you get tight on the wide players. We know that they play that way and I think there are moments on the game where momentum shifts and when you get the ball you just have to take care of it better.”
“I just think when you give up two goals it is difficult. We did create some chances and if we score the second goal it changes things, so that is why I kind of felt that we had a good opportunity to walk away with points. With the game winding down walking away with a point, you feel good on the road.”
Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire Goalkeeper
Thoughts on the second goal
“Obviously, Brad Davis has a good service. You just have to limit the times he gets the ball. He was able to put the ball into good spots and they were able to capitalize.”
On talking often with his defenders
“I actually thought [the Dynamo] got more crosses off the right side, they were high up, they were dangerous. On the left side we weren’t really troubled. Brad Davis is the one you have to key in on. I don’t think anybody else on the team was very dangerous coming in. Yeah, they got a couple shots off, but nothing too dangerous. You have to give credit to Houston, they came out and executed their game plan on a day where I thought we weren’t bad, but there are certain things in certain areas of the field where you have to be a little smarter. We will get back and work on it as a team. I think we will get better and going forward we will be okay. We just have to fix some things and get ready for Columbus next weekend.”
Chicago Fire 1 – 2 Houston Dynamo
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson, Wells Thompson, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; Daniel Paladini (Patrick Nyarko 57’), Logan Pause ©, Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere (Dilly Duka 85’); Chris Rolfe, Sherjill MacDonald (Maicon Santos 60’)
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Hunter Jumper, Michael Videira, Corben Bone
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe; Andrew Driver (Warren Creavalle 71’), Adam Moffat, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis ©, Giles Barnes (Cam Weaver 86’), Will Bruin (Brian Ching 75’)
Substitutes not used: Jason Johnson, Eric Brunner, Tyler Deric, Luiz Camargo
HOU – Will Bruin (Brad Davis) 26’
CHI – Chris Rolfe (Daniel Paladini) 29’
HOU – Brad Davis (Kofi Sarkodie) 81’
CHI – Daniel Paladini (caution) 55’
HOU – Corey Ashe (caution) 90+’
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Assistants: Eric Proctor, James Conlee
Fourth Official: Ismail Elfath