Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
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
Guzan howler costs Aston Villa against Man City    
Brad Guzan gifted Manchester City a goal in the third minute when he mis-hit a pass ...
MLS Week 8: Blunder extends NYCFC's doldrums    
Ghanaian international David Accam took advantage of a blunder by stand-in New York City FC keeper ...
What They're Saying: Bob Lilley    
"Rochester was ahead of the curve in the late 1990s and the rest of the country ...
USL Weekend: Blues hand Sac rare Bonney defeat    
The Orange County Blues, one of the surprises of the 2015 USL season, handed the 2014 ...
SoccerGrlProbs takes first in venture tournament    
SoccerGrlProbs, started by a trio of Fairfield University's women's player, took first place in the for-profit ...
Garber vs. Klinsmann, different timetables and goals    
Speaking at the annual Associated Press Sports Editors talk, MLS commissioner Don Garber pressed his case ...
USL Weekend: Unbeaten Rhinos don't believe in shortcuts    
Of the five teams still unbeaten in the USL, the most impressive has been Rochester Rhinos, ...
NASL Weekend: Upstarts Atlanta and Indy still unbeaten    
The Atlanta Silverbacks, under first-year coach Gary Smith, host the New York Cosmos at Atlanta Silverbacks ...
What They're Saying: Hugo Sanchez    
"The recent losses by the Mexican national team and sub-22 are shameful. Is someone doing anything ...
Unbeaten Red Bulls get bicoastal test against Galaxy    
Montreal takes a second consecutive weekend off to play in the Concacaf Champions League finals, which ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives