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Rolfe’s brace and the Fire burn the Union 3-1 at PPL Park
- Updated: August 13, 2012
Philadelphia, PA- The Chicago Fire fell 1-0 to the Union but rebounded to post a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union Sunday night at PPL Park. The Fire’s difference was getting two late goals in the first half.
The match started very one sided as the Union dictated the flow of play and opened the match with a goal in the 34th minute of play. The goal was set up when Freddy Adu sent a far cross into a streaking Chandler Hoffman. The rookie Hoffman making first start since a broken toe tipped the ball on goal which then deflected off Chicago’s Jalil Anibaba into the back of the net. At first the goal was awarded to Hoffman, then to Adu and a few later minutes Major League Soccer ruled it an Own Goal by Jalil Anibaba.
The Union’s lead was short lived as Fire front man Chris Rolfe found the back the net in the 43rd and tied the game at 1-1. The goal was the work of Sherjill MacDonald as he beat Union Defender Barkary Soumare on the end-line and sent a low cross in front of the 6-yard box that Rolfe one-timed in.
The Fire did not let up and capitalized off a Marco Pappa corner kick just moments before the half with a header by Arne Friedrich in 45+2 minute mark. When the ball was flying into the box it seemed like Union keeper Zac MacMath was going make a routine catch but Friedrich’s head slipped in and the score was suddenly 2-1.
After the break the Union seemed like a team on a mission with a lot bodies up top and pressure right out of the gates. Philadelphia also made a key change up as they inserted spark plug forward Antoine Hoppenot to replace Freddy Adu. Hoppenot’s energy and fight were an impact right away as the Union had about three good chances early in the second half to score. But they all were denied.
With the Union pushing a lot players up front their back line was exposed and the Fire took advantage of this. In the 56th minute Chris Rolfe took a pass from Patrick Nyarko and jetted down the field with one target in mind. As Rolfe was a yard out on the far corner of the 18 yard box he ripped a rocket on net that deflected high of Zac MacMath’s hand into the top the goal. This made the score 3-1 and put the Union down two goals, a deficit they have not come back from all season.
Philadelphia Manager John Hackworh did not give up as he made offense minded sub’s by bringing on two forwards Leo Pajoy and Josue Martinez in the 62nd and 69th minute. Philadelphia pushed the tempo up top with these additions but the Fire backline held its ground and were settled in tight to weather the storm.
When the final whistle blew it was 3-1 to Chicago and Union dropped its second game in a row.
The Philadelphia Union were out their captain and All-Star defender Carlos Valdes as he on international duty for the Columbia national team as they train in Madrid, Spain. Also missing was for international training was Gabriel Gomez as will train his national team Panama as they face Portugal mid-week. After the match starter Keon Daniel will travel to train with is national side Trinidad & Tobago in Florida as they are set to take on Canada.
Philadelphia Union Defender Barkary Soumare made is first team debut, also it was first return to the MLS against his former club Chicago. Soumare was with French club US Boulogne from 2009 – 2012 and appeared in 65 matches. In January he was loaned to German side Karlsrunher SC where played in 7 games.