Chicago Fire vs Sporting Kansas City 03-26-2011 - Recap
Fire outlast Kansas City after Bravo sees red
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Chicago Fire opened their home schedule in dramatic fashion on Saturday afternoon, defeating a shorthanded Sporting Kansas City squad 3-2 on a cold day at Toyota Park.
Chicago went up a goal and up a man in the 34th minute, when Kansas City Designated Player Omar Bravo was ejected for a breakaway foul in the box, giving Fire forward Diego Cháves a penalty kick that he promptly buried.
Forward Gastón Puerari put the Fire up 2-0 in the 40th.
Sporting defender Scott Besler pulled one back in the 51st only to see Fire winger Marco Pappa restore the two-goal lead with a brilliant 59th-minute strike. Substitute forward Teal Bunbury gave Kansas City a shred of hope with a 72nd minute goal, but Sporting couldn’t quite equalize and the Fire held on for their first win of the young season.
Bravo’s controversial ejection was perhaps the biggest play of the match, and gave a needed spark to the game roughly 30 minutes in. After Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson launched a counter attack, Pappa took a touch and played a long ball to Puerari, who collected the ball and raced into the box.
That’s where Kansas City’s star offseason acquisition Bravo came in, and referee Jasen Anno whistled the Sporting DP for a foul and – after a lengthy discussion and some heated objections from KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen – showed him a straight red card for the breakaway tackle.
Cháves made no mistake with the spot kick, burying his blistering shot into the top right corner.
The Fire doubled their advantage in the 40th. Chicago midfielder Mike Videira received a ball in the middle of Sporting’s half, sidestepping KC defender Roger Espinoza before playing Puerari into the left side of the box. The Uruguayan forward took it from there, taking one touch towards the middle before curling a 15-yard shot past Nielsen and inside the far post.
Kansas City defender Matt Besler put Sporting on the board just after the break. Johnson fumbled a low cross from midfielder Davy Arnaud and Besler pounced, jumping on the ball at the back post and tapping in from a few yards out.
But Pappa cancelled out Besler’s tally with an absolutely fantastic goal in the 59th minute. The Guatemalan midfielder collected the ball in the middle of Kansas City’s half and improbably wove through four Sporting defenders before firing a low right-footed toe-poke inside the left post from the top of the box.
Kansas City took stepped on the gas after Pappa’s goal, and their efforts paid off in the 72nd minute. Halftime substitute Bunbury collected an errant pass from Fire left back Gonzalo Segares’ in the middle of Chicago’s half and took off, sprinting past defender Cory Gibbs and coolly slotting his shot inside the left post.
Still, the goal wasn’t enough to salvage a draw for Kansas City, who were outshot 12-5 in the game and have now won just three of 19 regular-season matches on the road against the Fire all-time.
CHI -- Diego Chaves 2 (penalty kick) 34
CHI -- Gaston Puerari 1 (Michael Videira 1, Marco Pappa 1) 40
KC -- Matt Besler 1 (unassisted) 51
CHI -- Marco Pappa 1 (unassisted) 59
KC -- Teal Bunbury 1 (unassisted) 72
Sporting Kansas City -- Jimmy Nielsen, Scott Lorenz (Birahim Diop 84), Matt Besler, Roger Espinoza, Chance Myers, Stephane Auvray (Graham Zusi 69), Milos Stojcev, Davy Arnaud, Craig Rocastle (Teal Bunbury 46), Omar Bravo, C.J. Sapong.
Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Ellis, Mike Jones, Eric Kronberg.
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Teal Bunbury 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Teal Bunbury 2); FOULS: 18 (Scott Lorenz 4, C.J. Sapong 4); OFFSIDES: 1 (Omar Bravo 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Davy Arnaud 2, Milos Stojcev 2); SAVES: 4 (Jimmy Nielsen 4)
Chicago Fire -- Sean Johnson, Jalil Anibaba, Josip Mikulic, Cory Gibbs, Patrick Nyarko (Dasan Robinson 89), Michael Videira, Logan Pause, Marco Pappa, Gonzalo Segares, Diego Chaves (Dominic Oduro 89), Gaston Puerari (Orr Barouch 74).
Substitutes Not Used: Baggio Husidic, Dan Paladini, Davis Paul, Jon Conway.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Marco Pappa 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (3 tied with 2); FOULS: 16 (Gaston Puerari 4); OFFSIDES: 4 (Gaston Puerari 3); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Marco Pappa 4); SAVES: 3 (Sean Johnson 3)
KC -- Omar Bravo (ejection; Denied Goal Scoring Opportunity (Foul)) 30
CHI -- Gaston Puerari (caution; Persistent Infringement) 48
KC -- Davy Arnaud (caution; Reckless Tackle) 58
KC -- Birahim Diop (caution; Reckless Tackle) 88
Referee: Jasen Anno
Referee's Assistants: Corey Rockwell; Frank Anderson
4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Clear and 32 degrees