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Played
August 12, 2012 7:00 PM EDT
PPL Park — Chester, Pennsylvania
Referee:‬ F. Bazakos‎
Attendance:‬ 18412‎
 
34′ (OG) Jalil Anibaba
Chris Rolfe 43′
 
 
Chris Rolfe 56′

Philadelphia Union 1-3 Chicago Fire: Rolfe brace clinches three points at PPL Park

The Fire moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, thanks to a pair of goals from midseason signing Chris Rolfe.

By Ben Goldberg-Morse

Sherjill MacDonald, Zac MacMath, Philadelphia Union, Chicago Fire, MLS
Getty Images
The hometown heroes struck first, but Chris Rolfe responded with a brace to give his visiting Chicago Fire a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Sunday evening.

The initial deadlock was broken in the 34th minute, as Philadelphia’s attacking intent came to fruition. Finding himself with a bit of space, Union winger Freddy Adu lined up a rainbow of a cross to Chandler Hoffman that ricocheted off Chicago defender Jalil Anibaba and into the back of the net for an own goal.

The Fire couldn’t be stamped out, however, and roared back to take the reins before halftime. After beating Bakary Soumare to the Union baseline, Chicago forward Sherjill MacDonald spotted Rolfe bearing down on goal. With a flick of his right foot, MacDonald beat keeper Zac MacMath and gave his strike partner the space needed to tap in the 43rd-minute equalizer.

Not content to enter the break on even terms, Chicago continued pushing forward in stoppage time. Earning a corner in front of the Sons of Ben, linchpin Marco Pappa sent a cross flying towards the net, where it met the head of teammate Arne Friedrich and flew past MacMath to take the halftime lead.

While much of the second half was played in Philadelphia’s offensive end, Rolfe sucked all of the momentum away from the Union and their supporters 10 minutes into the second stanza. Picking the ball up on the short side of midfield, Rolfe let the torque of his 30-yard run lead him into a rocket shot that MacMath could only paw at as it whizzed past.

Over the final half hour, Philadelphia saw countless chances go begging, finding the area in front of Sean Johnson’s goal awash in a sea of red as it pushed frenetically for tallies that wouldn’t come.

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Philadelphia Union

18
Zac MacMath
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
Gabriel Farfán
Midfielder
 - 
25
 - 
28
Ray Gaddis
Defender
61′
 - 
4
Bakary Soumare
Defender
 - 
7
Brian Carroll
Midfielder
 - 
30
Freddy Adu
Striker
46′
 - 
14
Amobi Okugo
Defender
 - 
26
Michael Farfan
Midfielder
 - 
26
Keon Daniel
Midfielder
 - 
30
 - 

Chicago Fire

 - 
25
Sean Johnson
Goalkeeper
 - 
4
 - 
13
 - 
4
 - 
3
 - 
20
Á. Fernández
Midfielder
 - 
12
Logan Pause
Midfielder
44′
 - 
-
Pavel Pardo
Midfielder
 - 
15
 - 
-
M. Pappa
Midfielder
62′
 - 
-

Substitutes

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C. Harrison
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
 - 
13
Michael Lahoud
Midfielder
 - 
27
Zach Pfeffer
Midfielder
 - 
17
 - 
-
L. Pajoy
Striker
61′
 - 
29
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
70
Paolo Tornaghi
Goalkeeper
 - 
33
Dan Gargan
Defender
 - 
11
 - 
-
 - 
7
Alex
Midfielder
62′
 - 
8
 - 
14
Patrick Nyarko
Midfielder
44′

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Coach/Manager

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Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
E. Torres E. Torres
Striker
Chivas USA
6 3
Clint Dempsey Clint Dempsey
Striker
Seattle Sounders
6 1
V. Sánchez V. Sánchez
Striker
Colorado
4 3
Federico Higuaín Federico Higuaín
Striker
Columbus Crew
4 2
Bradley Wright-Phillips Bradley Wright-Phillips
Striker
NY Red Bulls
4 1