September 12, 2012
Fire move into second, eliminate TFC
TORONTO—The Chicago Fire survived a second-half letdown and vaulted into second place in the MLS East with Wednesday night’s 2-1 win over Toronto FC at BMO Field.
|Chris Rolfe’s 42nd-minute goal lifted the Chicago Fire to a 2-1 win over Toronto FC on Wednesday night, and ousted the Reds from the playoff chase.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Alvaro Fernandez opened the scoring in the 13th minute, with his first Fire goal, and Chris Rolfe doubled Chicago’s lead with a counterattacking strike in the 42nd that turned out to be the game-winner after Eric Hassli connected for Toronto in the 79th.
The win was Chicago’s fifth in their last six league games, and leaves them at 14-8-5 and 47 points, three points behind conference leaders Sporting Kansas City and one ahead of the New York Red Bulls. The loss officially eliminated Toronto (5-17-6, 21 points) from playoff contention.
A backfield turnover by Toronto’s Aaron Maund opened the door for Chicago’s first goal. The ball ended up with Pavel Pardo, who smacked a shot off the left post and took off after the rebound, trailed by netminder Milos Kocic. The Mexican international played the ball back across the goalmouth to Fernandez for a header from just off the right post with no ‘keeper in sight.
Rolfe doubled the Fire’s lead in the 42nd minute, after Kocic came off his line to block a breakaway shot off Patrick Nyarko’s foot for a corner kick. Hassli tried to head the ball out of danger, but it ended up with Rolfe just outside the top right corner of the penalty area, and the Fire forward half-volleyed a shot into the left inside netting.
Second half sub Ashtone Morgan helped orchestrate Hassli’s 79th-minute goal, bringing the ball down the left before passing off to Reggie Lambe, who found Silva at the top of the box for a quick relay to Hassli for a low right-footed finish into the lower right side.