Fire advance to USOC semifinals with 3-1 win over Atlanta

Nothing comes easy for the Fire and a trip to Atlanta to face a suspension depleted NASL club with a 3-5-1 record was no exception. A gritty 3-1 victory over the Silverbacks was the Fire's first win on artificial turf since June 28, 2011.

Frank Yallop fielded close to a first choice side but Atlanta still enjoyed an advantage from the run of play for long stretches in the contest. Two crucial saves from Sean Johnson early in the match kept Atlanta from taking the lead and gave Chicago an opportunity to jump ahead in the 50th minute. A Harry Shipp free kick was kept alive by Jeff Larentowicz and Quincy Amarikwa cleaned up the loose ball to give the visitors a lead. As is customary, the Fire allowed a goal four minutes later to even the score at one apiece.

The contest remained deadlocked until the 81st minute when newcomer Matt Fondy was tripped in the box drawing a penalty kick. Larentowicz put away the ensuing chance from the spot for the game winner. Alex added an insurance goal in the 86th.

The Fire will now face the winner of tonight's Portland v Seattle match on August 13 on the road. If the Fire are to advance to the US Open Cup Final, they'll be without Mike Magee who was shown a red card along with Atlanta defender Jesus Gonzalez after the two scuffled in the 31st minute.

Fire line-up

GK Johnson

D Watson (Palmer 46'), Soumare, Hurtado, Cochrane

M Ward, Larentowicz, Pause (Alex 80'), Shipp

F Magee, Amarikwa (Fondy 63')

Bench not used: Reynish, Ianni, Segares, Ritter

UPDATE: Seattle defeated Portland 3-1 in overtime to advance to the semifinals. Marco Pappa scored the third goal for the Sounders.

The Fire will travel to Seattle for the game on August 13.

Filed under: 2014 US Open Cup

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Guys this was a tough game to watch. I wish that we could trade our midfield with the silverbacks.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    bj - i would say we have a better midfield. i think the trade that needs to happen is the coaches.

  • Shouldn't have been this tight of a game in view that the silverbacks were missing several of their top players. Also wonder what's going on in Magee's head, doesn't seem to be enjoying himself on the field, looks like Magic Mike's magic has disappeared. The Fire were out hustled and outplayed for the most part until the penalty kick.

  • Magee's red card is stupid but Fire we're playing their third game in a week (with 10 men for an hour) against Atlanta who's had two weeks off.

    Think that played a factor.

    Cup games are rarely beautiful and if you go back in club history you'll find a number of score lines where the team left it late against a lower division team (Chicago Stingers in 98 comes to mind).

    Point is to advance and they did that. Now a month to prep for the semifinal at Seattle, hopefully with some reinforcements. Underdogs for sure but gotta believe.

  • Not that I'll get this right but my pick for tonight....

    San Jose over DC

  • I got last night's pick wrong but here are today's anyway.....

    New York over Columbus
    Toronto FC over Houston
    Philadelphia and Colorado draw
    Sporting KC over Montreal
    New England over Chicago
    Vancouver and Chivas USA draw
    Los Angeles and Real Salt Lake draw

  • Did you see Hamid's save toward the end of the game? The guy is definitely the MVP for DC United. Rolfe had several great looks. He is playing like the guy we expected when he came back from Europe.

    Have you done an analysis of guys playing (and playing well) in the league that the Fire let go because there was not a spot for them on the Fire. I am thinking Husidic in LA and Rolfe in DC. Could the Fire field a team of current ex-Fire? Who would win?

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