BRIDGEVIEW, IL- Chicago rebounded from last week's shutout at the hands of LA Galaxy to overcome a road-weary Vancouver Whitecaps on Pavel Pardo free kick, as the Fire improved their overall record to 9-6-4, and drew even in the standings with New York Red Bulls with the 1-0 win.
The Whitecaps, playing their fifth straight match on the road dating back to mid-June, could not overcome a man advantage for the final 20 minutes to find an equalizer against Chicago after quick back-to-back yellow cards against German international Arne Friedrich in the 67th and 69th minutes.
Chicago got on the board early by way of a Pavel Pardo free kick after Patrick Nyarko drew a fould just outside the box. Pardo measured up a perfect ball that floated to the upper 90 and well out of reach of GK Joe Cannon to put the Fire up in the 10th minute. The offense was all Chicago needed, as Vancouver struggled to find scoring opportunities most of the match.
“I thought the whole team was playing fantastic. We addressed the situation with them and Mattocks and his pace and his athletic ability, especially when Robson was getting the ball," said coach Frank Klopas. "We didn’t give them a lot of space and we stayed compact. Arne was fantastic and so was the rest of the team. But it’s amazing some of the calls that are called against us.”
Friedrich addressed the second yellow that sent him off after the game as well. “In my eyes, first it was a bad mistake in the midfield. We lost the ball so easy. I thought – I didn’t see it again – I thought that me and Austin Berry were running, and the striker was in between us, and we were running altogether at the same speed. For me… everybody was a little bit [using] their arms, so for me it was not a yellow card. But it’s the referee’s decision, and I have to take it.”
When asked about the speed and athleticism of Darren Mattocks, who Friedrich drew in coverage on the night, Friedrich simply said, "“Yeah he can jump high. But we [can] too,"
"He’s an athletic guy, and you just need to know what kind of strengths he has.”
See the match highlights here:
What do you think of the Fire's 1-0 win? Surprised Mattocks did not find the back of the net again? Impressed by Pardo's goal?
Share your thoughts below.