Chicago Fire players celebrate their USOC win in PKs over San Jose.
John Todd/ISI Photos/Courtesy of Chicago Fire

USOC: Fire edge Quakes in PKs, through to round of 16

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Chicago Fire’s streak of appearances in the US Open Cup main draw is still alive, if just barely.

Orr Barouch and Yamith Cuesta scored second-half goals to force a tie in regulation and the Fire withstood 22 minutes of playing a man down before prevailing 5-4 in a penalty-kick shootout against the San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday.

The win moves the Fire into the US Open Cup’s full field, a place they haven’t failed to reach in 14 straight seasons. Chicago, four-time winners of the tournament, will face a yet-to-be-determined opponent on June 28.

The Quakes, who were also ousted in US Open Cup qualifying play on PKs last year, once again fell short of the main draw for the fourth time in as many years since the club was re-established as an expansion team in 2008.

Marco Pappa, Cristian Nazarit, Barouch, Dominic Oduro and Daniel Paladini scored for Chicago in the penalty-kick phase after the teams ended 120 minutes of play tied at 2-2.

Chris Wondolowski, Ramiro Corrales, Khari Stephenson, Brandon McDonald hit their PKs for San Jose, but Sealy’s sixth-round attempt caromed off the crossbar, down the ground and bounced harmlessly away.

Chicago’s Logan Pause drove his kick high to give San Jose hope in the second round of penalties, but Sam Cronin’s response bounced off the crossbar and out of play to keep things level.

Seldom-used Ellis McLoughlin and Justin Morrow both scored first-half goals to give San Jose a 2-0 lead at intermission. But Barouch, a halftime substitute, tallied in the 61st minute, and Cuesta tied things up in the 76th.

The Quakes played a man up after Chicago defender Gonzalo Segares saw straight red as several players jawed with each other following a tough challenge by San Jose’s Khari Stephenson in the 98th minute. It was the last of nine cards handed out on the evening by busy referee Daniel Radford.

But San Jose, who started brightly on offense, couldn’t create many chances as their energy flagged in overtime. The Quakes’ best chance after Segares’ ejection came in the 116th minute, when Steven Lenhart pushed a header wide, but he was called for a foul on the play in any case.

Cronin, making his bid for more playing time after being supplanted of late at holding midfielder by Brad Ring, ignited the Quakes first goal in the 14th minute with a sliding dispossession of Paladini 25 yards from the Fire goal.

Cronin fed McLoughlin, who took a whack from 20 yards. Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson dropped down and appeared to have the shot covered, except the ball took a deflection off of Jalil Anibaba and popped into the air, well out of Johnson’s reach and into the net.

It was the second goal in three days for McLoughlin, an MLS rookie who tallied his first league score Saturday in San Jose’s 2-0 win against New England.

McLoughlin was also in the center of San Jose’s second goal, tracking down a long lead pass and pushing a low shot to the far post from just inside the right edge of the penalty box. Johnson had plenty of time to deal with the fairly soft attempt, but the ball somehow popped out of his grasp.

Morrow pounced on the goalmouth-sitter for his second US Open Cup qualifying goal in as many years. As a rookie last season, he tallied in overtime of what would become a penalty-kick loss to Real Salt Lake.

Nazarit, the 20-year-old Colombian signed earlier this month by the Fire, slotted a shot past San Jose goalkeeper Andrew Weber in the 47th minute after a short through ball from Barouch, but Nazarit was judged to be offsides on the play.

Barouch eventually got one back for Chicago, taking Segares’ grounded cross from the left wing and rolling a one-timed shot from the top of the box to the far post as Weber dove in futility.

Chicago almost scored in the 76th when Weber went on walkabout and Bobby Burling was called upon to snuff out a Nazarit shot from 10 yards with a slide.

The Fire tied things up seconds later when Cuesta redeemed himself, latching onto a free kick that San Jose failed to clear and driving a header that Weber couldn’t handle.

SJ – Ellis McLoughlin (unassissted) 14
SJ – Justin Morrow (unassisted) 43
CHI – Orr Barouch (Gonzalo Segares) 61
CHI – Yamith Cuesta (unassisted) 76

SJ – Chris Wondolowski (caution) 37
CHI – Yamith Cuesta (caution) 39
CHI – Daniel Paladini (caution) 63
SJ – Brad Ring (caution) 69
CHI – Orr Barouch (caution) 69
CHI – Bratislav Ristic (caution) 74
CHI – Cristian Nazarit (caution) 89
SJ – Khari Stephenson (caution) 97
CHI – Gonzalo Segares (ejection) 98

Chicago – Sean Johnson; Jalil Anibaba (Dominic Oduro 46), Yamith Cuesta, Dasan Robinson (Cory Gibbs 88), Gonzalo Segares; Bratislav Ristic, Daniel Paladini, Logan Pause, Marco Pappa; Cristian Nazarit, Gaston Puerari (Orr Barouch 46)
Substitutes not used: Jon Conway, Corben Bone, Baggio Husidic, Pari Pantazopoulos

San Jose – Andrew Weber; Steven Beitashour, Bobby Burling, Brandon McDonald, Ramiro Corrales; Anthony Ampaipitakwong (Steven Lenhart 83), Sam Cronin, Brad Ring (Khari Stephenson 71), Justin Morrow; Ellis McLoughlin (Scott Sealy 46), Chris Wondolowski
Substitutes not used: Jon Busch, Bobby Convey, Matt Luzunaris, Ike Opara

Referee: Daniel Radford
Referee’s Assistants: Mike Kampmeinert, Colin Arblaster
4th Official: Yader Reyes
Weather: Clear and 62 degrees
Attendance: 4,124