Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Fire 2, Kickers 1
By Charlie Corr
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Here is a quick look at the Chicago Fire's 2-1 victory against the USL Pro's Richmond Kickers on Tuesday in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal at Toyota Park:
How it happened: Fire midfielder Sebastian Grazzini tallied a penalty kick goal in the 32nd minute to take a 1-0 lead. The PK resulted from Fire forward Patrick Nyarko being tripped up in the box by the Kickers' David Hertel. Fire forward Dominic Oduro pushed the lead to 2-0 with a strong cut to the right, losing his defender and then finding the right side of the frame. The Kickers responded in the 68th minute with a header goal from William Yomby that hit the crossbar and deflected down across the goal line to cut Chicago's lead to 2-1.
What it means: The Fire advanced to their sixth Open Cup championship appearance and will take on Seattle Sounders FC. The Sounders topped FC Dallas, 1-0, in Tuesday's other semifinal and will host Chicago on Oct. 4 for the title game. Seattle won the 2009 and 2010 Open Cups over D.C. United and the Columbus Crew, respectively.
Outside the box: Fire midfielder Pavel Pardo, who left Saturday's game against the Colorado Rapids because of a calf strain, did not suit up for Chicago on Tuesday. ... Richmond's David Bulow, who entered Tuesday scoring a tournament-leading six goals in Open Cup action, was ineligible for the match because of yellow card accumulation.
Up next: The Fire resume MLS action when they face the San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 10 at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Chicago will be looking for its third straight win in league play.