The Chicago Fire’s SuperLiga hopes took a serious hit Saturday night as the Men in Red fell to rival New England 1-0 at Toyota Park.
The Revolution scored the winning tally in the 77th minute. Marko Perovic stole the ball from rookie Fire defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe and unleashed a great shot from 23 yards out, beating keeper Sean Johnson to the bottom right corner.
The Fire certainly seemed to have a lot going for them in the early goings. 2010 newcomer Collins John played in his first match in several weeks and the partisan Fire crowd were also treated to a start from talented first round draft pick Corben Bone. Chicago saw a much more consistent effort out of their midfield and defensive back line, looking nothing like the team that lost 1-5 to Mexican side Morelia just a few days ago.
Even with the score tied 0-0, the Fire appeared to be the better side through the first 45 minutes, showing a lot more creativity in the attacking third than they had in recent weeks.
Mike Banner presented the first real threat of the match and rattled a shot from 20 yards out off the left post in the 13th minute. Later, in the 21st minute, John received a great ball out of the midfield, and played a perfect ball back to Umanzor, who sent it over the goal from ten yards.
The final Fire challenge of the half came in stoppage time as Marco Pappa was freed down the right side by a great ball from Peter Lowry. Pappa’s strike from inside the penalty area was off target, sailing just left of the goal.
However, the second half didn’t feature too many offensive chances for Chicago, but the best opportunity came in the 54th minute. Brian McBride, who came in as a sub, fed Pappa for a run up the right flank, and the Guatemalan international served a ball towards the far post to a leaping Justin Mapp, who headed it over the crossbar.
Chicago fell to 0-2 in the SuperLiga group, needing a win over Mexican side Pumas ANAM and a lot help in order to advance further. The Revs moved to 2-0, ascending to the top spot in the group.
SuperLiga play will continue Tuesday as New England will play host to Morelia, and the Fire will take on Pumas at Toyota Park.