BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (May 9, 2015) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club saw its three-match home winning streak come to an end in a 2-1 loss to visiting Real Salt Lake Saturday afternoon. The Fire cut a two-goal deficit in half with a Jeff Larentowicz penalty kick goal in the 88th minute, but RSL withstood the hosts’ late efforts to emerge with all three points.
Frank Yallop’s side played without Designated Player David Accam, who served a one-match suspension after receiving a late red card in last week’s match at Sporting KC. Still, the Fire were dangerous going forward early in the match thanks in part to defender Lovel Palmer, who made his first appearance in the Starting XI since March 29 vs. Philadelphia.
Real Salt Lake bucked the run of play early with a 13th-minute goal by Alvaro Saborio. The RSL forward received a square pass at the top of the box and struck a low shot past the reach of a diving Sean Johnson to open the game’s scoring.
Frank Yallop Postmatch Reaction
Palmer was at the center of the Fire’s offensive chances late in the first half, latching onto a corner kick but sending his one-time attempt wide of frame. Two minutes later, a quick build-up by the Fire ended with Palmer entering the penalty area on an overlapping run, but his one-time shot struck the side netting.
After intermission, the visitors doubled their advantage in the 56th minute when Devon Sandoval was sprung through the Fire defense into the box. Sandoval laid a pass across the area that Luke Mulholland put past Johnson with a sliding one-timer.
Second-half substitute Kennedy Igboananike nearly converted the Fire’s best opportunity from the run of play, sprinting into the box and volleying a perfectly served Joevin Jones pass on frame. But RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando was quick to react, parrying the ball over the bar to keep his side’s lead at 2-0.
The Fire’s deficit was halved in the 88th minute after Shaun Maloney was taken down in the penalty area. Larentowicz stepped up to the spot to score his second goal of the season and his 10th in a Fire shirt.
The Fire continued to press for the duration of five minutes of stoppage time, but another stellar Rimando save on Joevin Jones was enough to lock up the three points for RSL.
Two Men In Red entered the match as second-half subs to make their 2015 debuts in the match: midfielder Razvan Cocis, who is fully recovered from a foot injury suffered in preseason, and forward Jason Johnson, who earned his first appearance since joining the club via trade last month.
Chicago returns to action Friday (May 15) with its inaugural road trip to expansion side NYCFC. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT with the broadcast airing on Univision Deportes.
MLS Regular Season
Chicago Fire (3-5-0, 9 pts.) 1:2 Real Salt Lake (3-2-5, 14 pts.)
May 9, 2015 – Toyota Park
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (Jordan Allen) 13’
RSL – Luke Mulholland (Devon Sandoval, Jordan Allen) 56’
CHI – Jeff Larentowicz (Penalty) 88’
RSL – Luke Mulholland (Yellow) 27’
CHI – Guly do Prado (Yellow) 32’
RSL – Jordan Allen (Yellow) 50’
CHI – Matt Polster (Yellow) 70’
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Lovel Palmer, Jeff Larentowicz ©, Adailton (Jason Johnson 84’), Joevin Jones; Harry Shipp, Matthew Watson (Razvan Cocis 53’), Matt Polster, Shaun Maloney; Guly do Prado (Kennedy Igboananike 58’), Quincy Amarikwa
Subs not used: Jon Busch, Greg Cochrane, Eric Gehrig, Chris Ritter
Shots: 14; Shots On Goal: 3; Saves: 0; Fouls: 13; Corner Kicks: 14; Offsides: 5
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Elias Vasquez, Demar Phillips, Kyle Beckerman ©, Luis Gil, Luke Mulholland, Jordan Allen (John Stertzer 65’), Alvaro Saborio (Kenny Mansally 82’), Devon Sandoval (Olmes Garcia 90’)
Subs not used: Jeff Attinella, Aaron Maund, Sebastian Saucedo, Wellington Paeckart
Shots: 5; Shots On Goal: 2; Saves: 2; Fouls: 11; Corner Kicks: 3; Offsides: 4.