Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Fire falls a PK short in SuperLiga final
by Ridge Mahoney, August 6th, 2009 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[SUPERLIGA] One year after coming within one goal of reaching MLS Cup, the Chicago Fire came within one kick of winning the third edition of SuperLiga, but couldn't convert a sellout home crowd and an early goal into a victory.

Itamar Batista scored late in the first half to match an early goal by Patrick Nyarko and after a goalless second half, tucked away the decisive penalty kick in a 4-3 shootout win that brought UNL the SuperLiga crown in front of 20,000 fans at the Fire's Toyota Park.

UNL joins 2007 winner Pachuca as the Mexican league teams to win this competition that matches them with their MLS counterparts. New England captured the title last year by beating Houston in an all-MLS final.

Mike Banner and Justin Mapp missed the second and fourth Fire attempts in the shootout. Chicago goalie Jon Busch got back Banner's miss by saving Manuel Viniegra's shot, but after Mapp blazed a ball over the crossbar, Armando Pulido and Daniel Woolard converted to leave the teams tied, 3-3, with one kick remaining. Batista drilled a low shot cleanly past Busch to bring the slim, twisting SuperLiga trophy back south of the border.

Fire coach Denis Hamlett deployed defender C.J. Brown in place of Wilman Conde, hobbled by a pulled hamstring. Tim Ward replaced midfielder John Thorrington, out with a groin strain, and Brandon Prideaux took Ward's spot in the back line.

Cuauhtemoc Blanco had been sidelined by an ankle injury yet played the full 90 minutes and converted the Fire's first shootout attempt.

Nyarko, scorer of Chicago's goal in a 1-0 defeat of Real Salt Lake Saturday, ghosted behind the Tigres back line to glance home a left-wing cross from Gonzalo Segares in the 10th minute.

Batista glided past several opponents on the dribble and fired inside the far post to equalize in the 43rd minute, and his goal sent the teams off the field at halftime tied, 1-1.

Baggio Husidic replaced Ward at halftime, and Chicago - which held a 7-2 edge in shots after 45 minutes - maintained that superiority in the second half but couldn't find another way past Tigres keeper Cirilo Saucedo.

Batista nearly scored again in the 60th minute when he got in behind the defense and lobbed a shot that cleared Busch but drifted wide.

Segares and Blanco put shots on frame that Saucedo handled, and Blanco threatened again in the final minutes, only to be denied by the Tigres keeper once again to set up the shootout and a repeat of Pachuca's triumph over the Galaxy in the 2007 final.

In all three stagings the title has been determined by penalty kicks.

SuperLiga final
Aug. 5 in Bridgeview, Ill.
Chicago Fire 1, UNL Tigres 1.
Goals: Nyarko (Segares, Pause) 10; Batista (Fonseca) 43.
(UNL wins 4-3 on penalty kicks).
Penalties: Blanco (goal), Banner (wide), Rolfe (goal), Mapp (high), Woolard (goal); Fernandez (goal), Viniegra (saved), Ayala (goal), Pulido (goal), Batista (goal).
Chicago - Busch; Ward (Husidic, 46), Brown, Soumare (Woolard, 92+), Segares, Prideaux, Pause, Pappa (Mapp, 76) Rolfe, Blanco, Nyarko (Banner, 90).
UNL - Saucedo; Castillo, Castro, Molina, Gonzalez, Ayala, Fernandez, Toledo (Pulido, 85), Ortiz, Fonseca (Viniegra, 65), Batista.
Referee: Joel Aguilar.
Att.: 20,000.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati    
"Carli's performance was as good as any performance in a World Cup final by any man ...
Awards: Lloyd named top player, Solo top keeper    
Carli Lloyd, whose stunning hat trick led the USA to the Women's World Cup title with ...
Turning Points | It takes an entire team of stars    
In the end, Carli Lloyd was the star, scoring six of the USA's last nine goals ...
What They're Saying: Carli Lloyd    
"I just completely zoned out and dreamed of playing in a World Cup final and visualized ...
USA-Japan takeaways: 15ers peak at right time    
The adage of growing stronger as a tournament unfolds was borne out Sunday when the USA ...
NASL Weekend: Ottawa extends record shutout streak    
The Ottawa Fury opened the NASL fall season with a 2-0 win over Jacksonville Armada FC ...
USL Weekend: Switchbacks make it six in a row    
Miguel Gonzalez scored two second-half goals to lead the Colorado Springs Switchbacks to a 2-0 win ...
What They're Saying: Norio Sasaki    
"My players have given their all in every match, and overall they've had a great tournament ...
NWSL Weekend: Reign pulls even with Red Stars    
The Seattle Reign's 1-1 tie at the Western New York Flash was enough to earn it ...
Video Pick: Gonzalo Higuain strike another awful PK    
Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain had a pretty good season for his club Napoli with 18 goals for ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives