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MLS Game Summary - Chicago at Kansas City



(Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009)

From The Sports Network

Final Score: Chicago 2, Kansas City 0

Kansas City, KS (Sports Network) - Jon Busch made five saves to post his fifth shutout in his last six games, and Chris Rolfe and Mike Banner scored, leading the Chicago Fire to a 2-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards on Sunday.

Busch, who is tied for second in MLS with eight shutouts this season, made two key saves late in the first half and another midway through the second.

Rolfe handed Busch the lead just 13 minutes into the game, and Banner clinched the match in the 89th to help the second-place Fire move back within four of the Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference.

Chicago (9-4-8) has lost just once in its last six matches - last week against the Houston Dynamo - and won its MLS-best sixth road match.

Kansas City (5-8-6) is now winless in five straight and eight of its last nine and fell below .500 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark as interim coach Peter Vermes dropped his first match in place of recently fired Curt Onalfo.

Chicago quickly spoiled Vermes' debut when Rolfe and Marco Pappa combined on a great give-and-go on the right side. Rolfe sent a backward pass to Pappa, then made a nice run into the area and received a perfect return ball.

Rolfe then easily slotted past K.C. goalie Kevin Hartman for his fifth goal of the season.

K.C. had a few chances to level the match before half, but striker Josh Wolff was denied by Busch from close range in the 37th and Roger Espinoza was denied in the 39th.

Chicago nearly doubled its lead before half, but Patrick Nyarko found the post in the 41st and Justin Mapp fired inches over the bar in the 43rd.

The Fire's chances continued early in the second half, with Rolfe opening the scoring chances six minutes after the break with a shot just wide of the left post.

Kansas City's best chance of the half was in the 70th, when Zoltan Hercegfalvi - who was later sent off in the 85th - slipped a pass across the goal mouth to Espinoza, who was shielded just enough by Chicago's Austin Washington that he couldn't tap the ball into an empty net.

Banner capped Chicago's ninth win in the final minutes of regular time. Logan Pause, who was also recently called up to the U.S. team, sprung Banner on the left side and he slipped a shot past Hartman for his first of the season.

Chicago, which has played one less match than Columbus, has a chance to close the gap - or take the lead in the East - this week with home games against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday and the Colorado Rapids on Aug. 23.

K.C. will try to break out of its slump Saturday at the San Jose Earthquakes.

08/16 18:03:45 ET