Fire Celebrate Lead

NE 0 - 1 FIRE

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Chicago extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a 1-0 victory over New England at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

Marco Pappa scored from distance to convert the only goal of the game after 30 minutes. The Guatemalan midfielder created a yard of space 30 yards from goal and unleashed a rocket to give the Fire a second win in three attempts.

Zack Schilawski came closest to scoring for the home side with a pair of first-half headers, but New England couldn't find a breakthrough despite ample pressure in the final half-hour and suffered its third home loss of the campaign.

New England goalkeeper Matt Reis made his first appearance of the season after recovering from offseason surgeries on his left shoulder and left knee. Zak Boggsand Emmanuel Osei also earned recalls with Kenny Mansally and the suspended Joseph Niouky making way. Chicago planned to name an unchanged side from its 2-2 draw with Colorado on June 9, but Mike Bannerearned a last-minute start after Justin Mapp suffered a late injury setback and dropped out of the starting XI.

Neither side grasped the initiative in the early stages as they returned to the field after the World Cup break and coped with the warm conditions on the Gillette Stadium turf. After both teams settled into the match, the pace increased and the chances followed.

New England carved out the first real opportunity from a corner kick after 24 minutes. Marko Perovic's service from left corner located Schilawski in the penalty area, but the rookie striker directed his header wide of the far post. Chicago midfielder Baggio Husidic suffered a similar fate three minutes later after he headed Banner's cross over the bar from close range.

Pappa notched the opener from a considerably more distant location in the 30th minute. The Fire winger collected a feed from Dasan Robinson and danced around Shalrie Joseph to create a yard of space 30 yards from goal. Pappa then squared to shoot and lashed home past Reis to give Chicago the lead.

Schilawski could have drawn the Revolution level seven minutes later after Chris Tierney presented him with another chance to nod home. The forward did well to find space in the penalty area, but he skewed his header off frame.

Chicago—now without Husidic after he limped off the field after 38 minutes—thought it had scored their second shortly before the halftime interval. Brian McBride rose highest at the far post to meet Pappa's corner kick and directed his header just inside the post, but striker Sainey Nyassi managed to block the ball on the line as he guarded the post. Replays showed the ball may have crossed the line, but play continued and the Revs entered the break down only one goal.

McBride went close again with another header four minutes after halftime. Nyarko did well to wriggle free down the right side and play a quick cross inside for McBride, but the former American international's header flashed outside the far post.

New England gradually moved forward as the second half progressed and eventually switched into a 3-5-2 formation with a half-hour to play to send more bodies into the attacking third. The adjustment ensured the Revolution more possession and more pressure, but the Fire generally restricted New England to perimeter efforts and made sure that the Revs suffered a second consecutive defeat.

The win helped Chicago (4-3-5), still in fourth place, pull within seven points of Eastern Conference leaders New York and Columbus.

New England (3-8-2) stayed in sixth in the East, just one point ahead of Philadelphia.

Scoring Summary:
CHI -- Marco Pappa 6 (Dasan Robinson 1) 30

Misconduct Summary:
CHI -- Wilman Conde (caution; Tactical Foul) 47

Chicago Fire -- Andrew Dykstra, Dasan Robinson, C.J. Brown, Wilman Conde,Krzysztof Krol, Marco Pappa, Baggio Husidic (Peter Lowry 38), Mike Banner,Logan Pause, Brian McBride (Stefan Dimitrov 83), Patrick Nyarko (Deris Umanzor 70).

New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Emmanuel Osei, Cory Gibbs, Zak Boggs (Kenny Mansally 46), Shalrie Joseph, Pat Phelan, Chris Tierney (Kheli Dube 62), Marko Perovic, Sainey Nyassi, Zack Schilawski (Jason Griffiths 81).

Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry; James Conlee
4th Official: Jorge Gonzalez
Weather: Clear and 80 degrees
Attendance: 12,306