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2. OPEN CUP: Chicago lifts No. 4 with win over L.A.
September 28th, 2006 2:31AM

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In a lively U.S. Open Cup final, the Chicago Fire prevailed over Los Angeles, 3-1, to win the competition for the fourth time.

The last four Open Cup finals were settled with 1-0 scores. On Wednesday, Coach Dave Sarachan's team took a 2-0 lead after 16 minutes on headed goals Nate Jaqua and Costa Rican Andy Herron.

A 52nd Galaxy goal by Alan Gordan, who slammed home his own rebound, created a dramatic second half until the Brazilian Thiago tapped in Chicago's third goal in the 88th minute after receiving a pinpoint pass from former U.S. international Tony Sanneh.

Sanneh was a member of the 1996 Open Cup champs D.C. United

Chicago won its first Open Cup in its inaugural year under Coach Bob Bradley in 1998 when it also won the MLS crown, and Bradley guided it to the 2000 Open Cup title as well.

Sarachan, in his first year in charge of the Fire, won the 2003 Open Cup while finishing runner-up in MLS. The Fire finished runner-up in the Open Cup in 2004.

The last of the four other teams to have won the 93-year-old tournament at least four times was Los Angeles Maccabee SC in 1978.

"I can't help but smile," Sarachan said. "It's not very often you get to say you're a champion. We've made it a priority this year to win a couple of championships. They're going to enjoy tonight, but they know there's more work to be done."


LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP, Final
Sept. 27 in Bridgeview, Ill.
Chicago 3 Los Angeles 1. Goals: Jaqua (Herron) 9, Herron (Mapp) 16, Thiago (Sanneh) 88; Gordon 52.
Chicago -- Pickens; Brown, Sanneh, Segares, Gutierrez, Pause, Mapp (Thiago, 86), Guerrero, Jaqua, Rolfe (Curtin, 91+), Herron (Robinson, 82).
Los Angeles - Hartman, Jazic, Albright, Marshall, Ihemelu (Gomez, 77), Vagenas, Jones (Kirk, 72), Nagamura, Donovan, Gordon, Quaranta.
Yellow cards: Chicago -- Pickens 52, Gutierrez 59, Gutierrez 90. Los Angeles -- Albright 25, Nagamura 52, Quaranta 71, Gordon 75.
Red card: Chicago -- Gutierrez 90.
Referee: Terry Vaughn; Assistants: Chris Strickland, Richard Eddy; 4th Official: Michael Kennedy.
Att.: 8,151



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