Updated Jun 17, 2012 - 11:19 am
Match Review: Chicago Fire 1 - 2 Seattle Sounders FC
by John Zielonka, 710ESPN Seattle
Seattle won its second straight game on the road in Chicago on the back of Eddie Johnson's first strike as a Sounder. The U.S. international scored the game winner in the 67th minute.
Eddie Johnson (Courtesy: Sounderfc.com)
The Sounders' first goal was ruled an own goal as David Estrada's cross deflected off Chicago defender Arne Friedrich and rolled inside the post.
The Fire closed the gap to a goal in the 89th minute on Marco Pappa's seeing-eye bending corner kick that evaded Seattle 'keeper Michael Gspurning. The tally ended Gspurning's 337-minute shutout streak.
The lanky Dane held off one more attack in stoppage time by saving a 93rd minute volley by Jalil Anibaba.
Mauro Rosales and Adam Johansson returned to the starting lineup since home opener on March 17. Rosales suffered from several knocks from Chicago's Gonzalo Segares and Daniel Paladini. He was eventually replaced early in the second half by Marc Burch.
Man of the Match: Eddie Johnson
Johnson missed another goal when his headed ball hit the post. Against the Fire, he's scored seven times in 13 games.
"Without the effort from my teammates and the guys around me tonight, I don't think that goal would have been possible for me. It wasn't the best performance from us, but sometimes you have to win ugly. We'll take the three points."--Eddie Johnson
"He produced some key moments for us; he also hit the post with that header. He was dangerous at times. His touch was off a little bit, but he knows that's going to get better."--Sigi Schmid, Sounders FC head coach
High emotions and physical play
Referee Michael Kennedy let both sides play and issued one caution during the first 90 minutes of the match. He raised the yellow card three times in added time once the emotions of the match bubbled up.
"The players put a lot into the game. We were playing at home; there were some emotions at the end, but we just have to control that. At times, the referees have to make the right calls and not let it get out of hand."--Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire head coach
"I went in to make a play on the ball and it turned into a scuffle. It was a hard fought match and emotions run high, but there was nothing malicious on either end. In the heat of the moment things are said, but again, it was not malicious - it was just two teams competing hard."--Jalil Anibaba, Chicago Fire defender
"I wanted to wait for the melee to die down. I think it was a pretty aggressive tackle right at the end of the game from Anibaba on Leo Gonzalez. It was an aggressive tackle and obviously it was a frustrating game for Chicago because they had some great opportunities and they had chances and it's one of those days where it just didn't go in for them."--Sigi Schmid
Papa's corner kick goal
In what has to be a candidate for MLS Goal of the Week, Papa's bender eluded Gspurning to reduce Seattle's advantage to one in the dying minutes of the match.
"It was really unbelievable. We played the second half against the wind so I would say 70% it was a good corner kick, and 30% was the 50mph wind picking it up so I had to step up and by that time it had hit the post and gone in. I'm always a positive guy but I know it will be on all the season highlights now with this goal."--Michael Gspurning, Sounders FC goalkeeper
"It was my first goal of the season, but it's hard to feel good because my first thought is always of the team and we didn't get the points."--Marco Papa, Chicago Fire midfielder
"But with the wind behind him, Pappa strikes a good ball and ripped it. Michael said that he Basically had no chance to react-all of a sudden it was off the post."--Sigi Schmid
They said it
"He (Estrada) took the shot, clearly not on target, but it takes a turn off of someone's leg and goes back on target. It's a tough one, but what can you do?"--Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire goalkeeper
"I think those things even out, but when you look at all the games we've played, Grazzini is probably the guy that has been kicked the most, but he's the one that ends up with the yellow cards."--Frank Klopas
"Everyone knows I didn't train last week but I was 100% fit today otherwise I wouldn't have played. I thought my performance was okay but this goal, I take it, but it shouldn't have happened. But at least we got three points."--Michael Gspurning
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