Recap: Opportunistic Sounders hold off Fire for win
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – After scoring just one goal in their last three games, the Seattle Sounders found their goalscoring shoes on Saturday, capitalizing on a deflection and a bobble from Chicago Fire players to notch a 2-1 win at Toyota Park.
The Fire are now winless in their seven games against Seattle.
The Sounders went ahead in the 39th minute on an own goal by Arne Friedrich, as David Estrada’s low shot from the corner of the penalty area deflected off of the inside of the German defender’s leg and found its way past an off-balance Sean Johnson at the near post.
Eddie Johnson added a second for Seattle in the 67th minute, poking the ball over the line after Sean Johnson lost the handle on a free kick.
And while the Fire had their chances, they proved to be the less opportunistic side.
Fire midfielder Daniel Paladini, starting his first game of the season, had a chance to open the scoring in the 14th minute. Patrick Nyarko’s cross from the end line found Paladini with ample time and space, but Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso heroically blocked the low, driven shot.
Three times the first half, the Fire were able to find forward Dominic Oduro in space, but each time the speedy Ghanaian was stymied by either his own feet or a Seattle defender.
Marco Pappa came on for the Fire in the 61st minute, and his shot from outside the box found the back of the net two minutes later. But the goal was called back because Dominic Oduro was standing in front of Sounders’ goalkeeper Michael Gspurning in an offside position.
OPTA Chalkboard: Follow Estrada's night
Pappa got one back for the Fire in the 89th minute, scoring directly off a corner kick that caught Gspurning off his line. But despite late pressure, Chicago couldn’t find the equalizer.
Tempers flared after the final whistle, as the high-strung game culminated in an on-field scuffle between the two teams.
The Fire have now allowed five goals in three games since Friedrich was inserted into the lineup for the injured Cory Gibbs. Chicago are still without a victory in their three matches against winning teams.
With the win, the Sounders were able to start a string of five games in 15 days on the right foot. The Sounders will return home next week for home games against the LA Galaxy and Philadelphia Union on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Eddie Johnson||EJ's hold up play and running off the ball gave Chicago's defense fits all night, and his game-winner was well deserved.|
|2||Marco Pappa||The Guatemalan only got 29 minutes, but scored an unreal goal and probably should have had a second were it not for Oduro's hockey-like screen of Gspurning.|
|3||Osvaldo Alonso||Another typical 110-percent shift from the Cuban in midfield, and one monstrous block on Daniel Paladini.|
FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS