CHICAGO, Ill. (July 3, 2013) – The Chicago Fire (6-7-3, 21 points) earned a hard-fought 3-2 comeback victory over the San Jose Earthquakes (5-8-6, 21 points) Wednesday evening at Toyota Park. Dilly Duka and Patrick Nyarko tallied for the Fire before Chris Rolfe led the Men in Red to their third consecutive MLS win with his 84th minute game-winning goal.
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In the 13th minute, Alex was whistled for a foul on Alan Gordon just inside the Fire’s half. Sam Cronin served in the free kick that was cleared out by the Fire defense. Steven Beitashour collected the rebound and sent the ball back into the box, finding Alan Gordon at the penalty spot. Gordon headed the ball off the crossbar, pounced on his own rebound and headed the ball past Fire ‘keeper Paolo Tornaghi to give the Earthquakes the lead.
The Fire would pull level in the 36th minute when Bakary Soumare pushed the ball forward finding Nyarko on the left flank. Nyarko flicked the ball on for an onrushing Gonzalo Segares, who raced towards the end line and played a square ball to Duka 12-yards from goal. With his first touch, Duka popped the ball up and with the left-footed half volley, hit a bouncing ball just out of Jon Busch’s reach for the equalizer.
PHOTOS: Fire 3, Earthquakes 2
Just minutes into the second half the Fire took the lead when Segares played the ball over the top of the Earthquakes defense to Duka, who raced down the left flank to the touchline and with a quick cutback, sent Steven Beitashour sprawling and whipped in a cross to Nyarko on the penalty spot. With one touch, Nyarko fired his right-footed shot straight into the goal.
Conjuring their Goonie magic, the Earthquakes equalized in the 72nd minute off of a Fire own goal. The Earthquakes sent in a corner kick, finding Jason Hernandez 10 yards from goal. Hernandez’s shot took an odd skip and careened off Joel Lindpere to level the score 2-2.
The Fire continued to press and in the 84th minute, Mike Magee sent a diagonal ball through the Earthquakes defense, finding Rolfe on the far post. The Kettering, Ohio native raced into the six-yard box and slotted a one-time, right-footed blast just in between Busch and the post for the game winner.
The Fire return to action and host Sporting Kansas City in a match presented by Quaker on Sunday, July 7 at 2:00 p.m. CT (ESPN/La Ley 107.9). The first 7,500 fans in the stadium on Sunday will receive an Austin Berry Bobblehead. Tickets for both matches are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire or by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com.
- With the victory, the Fire move to 13-8-11 all-time in MLS regular season matches against the Earthquakes.
- The Fire are now unbeaten in nine matches across all competitions.
- With his assist on Chris Rolfe’s 84th minute game-winning goal, forward Mike Magee has now tallied a goal or assist in eight consecutive matches across all competitions
- Dilly Duka’s goal in the 36th minute marked his second consecutive MLS goal for the Fire
- This was the Fire’s third consecutive comeback victory in MLS play
- This is the Fire’s 13th comeback victory since Fire head coach Frank Klopas took the reins in May 2011.
- The win bumped Fire head coach Frank Klopas’ record to 24-12-14 all-time in regular season matches played from June through October. Klopas’ side is 7-11-5 in matches played from March through May.
Chicago Fire 3 – 2 San Jose Earthquakes
Chicago Fire: Paolo Tornaghi; Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Bakary Soumare, Gonzalo Segares; Patrick Nyarko (Joel Lindpere 64’), Jeff Larentowicz ©, Alex (Daniel Paldini 79’), Dilly Duka (Maicon Santos 87’); Mike Magee, Chris Rolfe
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Wells Thompson, Michael Videira, Sherjill MacDonald
San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Busch; Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Brad Ring, Justin Morrow; Walter Martinez (Sam Garza 70’), Sam Cronin © (Marcus Tracy 86’), Rafael Baca, Mehdi Ballouchy (Dan Gargan 84’); Adam Jahn, Alan Gordon
Substitutes not used: David Bingham, Cordell Cato
SJ – Alan Gordon (unassisted) 14’
CHI – Dilly Duka (Gonzalo Segares) 36’
CHI – Patrick Nyarko (Dilly Duka) 47’
SJ – Own Goal (Joel Lindpere) 72’
CHI – Chris Rolfe (Mike Magee) 84’
CHI – Jeff Larentowicz (caution) 39’
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistants: George Gansner, Kermit Quisenberry
Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos
Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos