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MLS Game Summary - New York at Chicago



(Sunday, April 5, 2009)

From The Sports Network

Final Score: Chicago 1, New York 0

Bridgeview, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago Fire hung on to earn a 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park despite the fact that they played the majority of the game down a man.

"The first thing I'd like to say is our team showed unbelievable work rate, commitment, given the conditions," Chicago coach Denis Hamlett said. "Even though we were a man down early, we stuck together, we kept working, got a little bit of help from the wind with the goal, with Marco [Pappa]. Great finish hitting it the first time and I'm more proud of that. It shows the commitment of the team."

Midfielder John Thorrington took down Macoumba Kandji on a breakaway just outside the penalty area in the 14th minute, forcing referee Tim Weyland to flash the red.

"I saw the ball, went to make the challenge I think I barely touched the ball and got a bit of him and unfortunately the referee decided in that instance decided I was the last man and by the rule book that is a red card," Thorrington said.

Kandji came out in the 20th minute with an apparent injury, with Dominic Oduro taking his spot on the field.

But the Fire (2-0-1) were able to get the game's lone goal in the 33rd minute when Marco Pappa blasted a loose ball home for his first Major League Soccer tally. The chance was made available by an errant clearance by the Red Bulls defense at the top of the penalty area. With goalkeeper Danny Cepero out of position, Pappa volleyed the shot off both posts and into the vacated net.

"I am happy about the goal and glad that I could contribute," Pappa said. "I think that the win is the fruit of the labors that we have already put in. We are pleased with having seven points after three games, especially starting with two road games. The team played very hard to win a game with 10 men on the field and it was difficult, but if we continue on playing like this, I think the team is capable of achieving great things."

The Fire defense shut down the Red Bulls (0-2-1) for the rest of the game, allowing just four shot on goal the entire game despite being down a man.

"I'm disappointed. I think throughout the 90 minutes we made the extra man count and created enough chances to tie or even win this game, but they only give points for goals scored and that's the reality," New York coach Juan Carlos Osorio said. "They had two chances, one in the first half and they scored from it, and one in the 45th minute of the second half.

"At the moment things are not going well for us. We need to get back into training and turn things around."

New York, which is in last in the Eastern table, will try to earn its first win of the season when it plays at Houston next Saturday, while the Fire, who are tied with New England in the East, play at San Jose the same day in their next MLS fixture.

04/05 18:33:50 ET