June 29, 2012
Fire top KC for third straight win
KANSAS CITY, Kan.---Sean Johnson held off a barrage of late Sporting Kansas City shots and Marco Pappa's goal held up as the Chicago Fire won their third straight game, 1-0 at Livestrong Sporting Park Friday night.
|Marco Pappa netted his fifth of the season in the Chicago Fire’s 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City Friday night.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The win improves to Fire to 8-5-3, 27 points, while Sporting, playing their fifth game in 14 days, lost for the second straight time to fall to 9-5-2, 29 pts.
After a slow and lackluster performance by both teams in the first half, Pappa gave the Fire the lead in the 58th minute on a brilliant breakaway. Kansas City’s CJ Sapong lofted a ball into the area, where Fire defender Da Gargan cleared it back out to Pappa near midfield. Pappa made a dash upfield then dished off to Chris Rolfe on the left side. Rolfe gave the ball back to Pappa for a clinical finish past Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen from inside the penalty area.
Sporting put only five of their 27 shots on goal, but kept Chicago netminder Sean Johnson scrambling as the game wound down. Johnson came up with the best of his five saves in the 76th minute, when Kei Kamara snapped a header down, and the 6-4 goalkeeper went full stretch to get his hand on it. Kamara had another header cleared off the line by second half sub Hunter Jumper in the 80th minute. And, with time running down, the Fire, and especially Johnson, withstood a wild barrage.
In the 92nd minute, Teal Bunbury got on the end of a cross going toward the right of the penalty area. He managed to spin and volley it across his body, narrowly missing the opposite post. Less than a minute later, Soony Saad got a ball back from Chance Myers and fired a point blank shot from inside the 18 that sent Johnson diving to stop.
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