Fire can't create chances, fall 1-0 to Guadalajara in friendly
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — Second-half substitute Jorge Mora scored off a free kick in the 61st minute as Mexican giants CD Guadalajara defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0 in an international friendly at Toyota Park on Wednesday night.
The Fire struggled to create opportunities all night, finding no luck in front of net throughout the match.
The game got off to a fast start, with the teams trading chances in the fifth and sixth minutes. The Fire had the first opportunity.
Chicago defender Jalil Anibaba ditched Guadalajara defender Uriel Navarro on the right wing in the fifth minute, crossing to forward Diego Chaves for a free header from the spot that Chivas ‘keeper Luis Míchel pushed over the bar.
Guadalajara had a quick reply, using some quick passing to free forward Alberto Medina for a one-on-one with Fire goaleeper Sean Johnson in the sixth. Medina couldn’t take advantage of his golden opportunity, taking a couple of heavy touches before hitting a shot right at Johnson at the near post from a tight angle.
The game completely quieted down after Medina’s chance, with neither team registering much in the way of opportunities for the remainder of the first half.
The Fire made huge changes at halftime, bringing on nine new players to start the second half. Chicago’s new faces included 2010 Home Grown signing Victor Pineda and Open Tryout winner Pari Pantazopolous, both of whom were making their Toyota Park debuts.
Chivas also made some changes at the half, bringing in backup ‘keeper Victor Hugo Hernández for Míchel, Juan Pablo Verduzco for Hector Réynoso and Julio Nava for Alberto Medina. They continued subbing throughout the second half, making a pair of changes in the 54th minute, three switches in 60th and a sole substitution in the 66th.
Guadalajara outplayed the Fire by a wide margin at the start of the second interval, holding the ball in Chicago’s end for large stretches and consistently pressuring the Fire goal.
They were rewarded for their good play in the 61st. Mora — who had come on just a minute before — curled a 25-yard free kick over Chicago’s wall and into the lower right corner of the goal from the right side of the field, sending the largely pro-Chivas crowd of 18,224 into hysterics.
The Fire started playing marginally better after conceding, carving out a decent chance in the 68th minute. Defender Josip Mikulic had the opportunity, hitting a 10-yard sliding volley off the side net following a Chicago corner kick.
Home Grown signing Kellen Gulley made his Fire debut in the 76th minute, when he came on for Chaves. But the 17-year-old couldn’t change Chicago’s offensive fortunes, as the Fire failed to create any good looks in the final 15 minutes.
Chicago return to league play on Saturday when they host Guadalajara’s MLS sister club, Chivas USA, at Toyota Park.
CDG – Jorge Mora (unassisted) 61’
CHI – Yamith Cuesta (caution) 55’
CHI – Victor Pineda (caution) 81’
CDG – Julio Nava (caution) 90’+
CD Guadalajara -- Luis Ernesto Míchel (Víctor Hugo Hernández 46’); Uriel Navarro, Héctor Reynoso © (José Luis Verduzco 46’), Mario de Luna (Jonny Magallón 60’), Kristian Álvarez (Oscar Isao Torres 71’); Alberto Medina (Julio Nava 46’), Édgar Mejía (Jorge Mora 60’), Patricio Araujo (Antonio Gallardo 60’), Marco Fabián (Erick Torres 54’) 9-Omar Arellano (Juan Pablo Orozco 66’), Carlos Fierro (Antonio Salazar 54’)
Substitutes not used: Javier Ledesma
Chicago Fire -- Sean Johnson (Jon Conway 46’); Jalil Anibaba (Dan Gargan 46’), Josip Mikulic, Cory Gibbs (Yamith Cuesta 46’), Gonzalo Segares (Pari Pantazopoulos 46’); Logan Pause © (Victor Pineda 46’), Pável Pardo (Michael Videira 46’); Marco Pappa (Orr Barouch 46’), Baggio Husidic (Daniel Paladini 46’), Patrick Nyarko (Cristian Nazarit 46’); Diego Chaves (Kellen Gulley 76’)
Substitutes not used: none
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee’s Assistants: Eric Boria, Peter Balciunas
4th Referee: Miguel Panduro, Jr.