Patrick Nyarko

Tenacity of Magee and Nyarko in 2-1 victory over Columbus sets up quarterfinal Open Cup date with Orlando

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- It doesn’t occur very often in soccer but with a match postponement for the next day, you can literally throw some things out the window, see the Fire’s  2-1 fourth round Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup win over Columbus as a prime example.
With the Crew having an MLS fixture vs. Montreal on the weekend, head coach Robert Warzycha ended up playing a weaker lineup than he was expected to had the game not been called off due to severe weather Wednesday night.

“I think just being here all night for both teams, waiting and then canceling the game obviously coming back in the morning that affected both teams for the start,” said Fire head coach Frank Klopas.

RECAP: Fire come from behind to down Crew 2-1 in Open Cup third round

Still, the Crew had the better of the play and grabbed the first goal the head coach’s son Konrad Warzycha headed home a Ben Speas free kick in the 22nd minute.

The goal seemed to liven up the Fire and as he has the previous three games, Mike Magee finished from close range as left back Gonzalo Segares provided a low cross in the 29th minute.

The Fire no doubt had a slow start and Magee even admitted that the turnaround from Wednesday night was difficult for him on a personal level.

“I can never eat breakfast so I was forcing pasta down my throat at 9am,” said the Fire forward. “I like the later games because I felt like I was dead out there today I felt like I had three things of pasta [inside me].”

Things were even coming from halftime but with the stronger lineup and as the home team, the Fire slowly began to take over the match.

Alex seemed to produce the best chance of the half when substitute forward Maicon Santos knocked the ball down before his fellow Brazilian hit a first time blast that Crew ‘keeper Andy Greunebaum did well to keep out in the 67th minute.

The Fire would find the odd goal 10 minutes later. Playing on the right wing after Santos’ substitution, Chris Rolfe swung in a curving cross that found Patrick Nyarko at the back post. The Ghanaian headed across goal and saw his effort trickle over the line.

 “It’s a play me and Chris have talked about over and over,” said Nyarko. “I feel like I have a good leaping ability and I told him whenever he gets it out wide and there’s no outlet, you should just hit it to the back post.

“On that one it was just a perfect ball I really couldn’t miss.”

The Fire will now welcome USL PRO side Orlando City SC for a quarterfinal clash on June 26 at Toyota Park. Tickets for the match go on sale to the general public Friday, June 14 at noon CT.

The third division side pulled the upset of the tournament Wednesday night, knocking off 2012 Open Cup champions Sporting KC 1-0 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS.

“I don’t know a lot about them,” admitted Nyarko. “Beating Sporting KC there, I think they’re pretty good. It’s not going to be easy and that’s what we keep reminding all the guys here to win a championship, you have to go through the toughest teams whoever they are.

“We’re going to be ready for them and they’re going to come here with a lot of intensity but our goal is to win the Open Cup, it has been from the start and I think we focus on that.”