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  • September 17, 2011
  • • 4:00 PM
  • • Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois
  • Referee: J. Gonzalez
  • • Attendance: 15246

Chicago Fire 3-2 Chivas USA: Dominic Oduro wins it late for 10-man Chicago

Chicago Fire 3-2 Chivas USA: Dominic Oduro wins it late for 10-man Chicago

David Banks

Dominic Oduro was Chicago's savior against Chivas USA, scoring in the 85th minute to win the game, which was forced to play a man down after Cory Gibbs' first half expulsion.

The Chicago Fire, playing with 10 men for 53 minutes, picked up a big win at home in an enthralling 3-2 match against Chivas USA. Chicago took an early 2-0 lead, but Cory Gibbs was shown red in the 37th minute. Chivas looked to have fought back with two goals just after the hour mark, but a late winner from Dominic Oduro was decisive in keeping Chicago hanging on in the playoff hunt.

Gibbs got his team off to a flying start in the seconded minute after a corner from Sebastian Grazzini found the veteran defender lurking on the far post to head one. Chicago continued to pressure as Marco Pappa tested Dan Kennedy with a powerful effort, and it was only a matter of time before the Fire collected their second.

Pavel Pardo swung in the free kick and it took a deflection off Zarek Valentin onto the shoulder of Juan Pablo Angel, who was charged with an unfortunate own goal.

Chicago continued to pile on the pressure, but was forced to rethink its game plan after Gibbs was ejected. The defender went in to a challenge with Michael Lahoud over the ball with his boot raised, leaving referee Gabriel Gonzales with no choice but to send him off.

As expected, Chivas USA upped its game in the second half, looking to punish Chicago for the red card, but Sean Johnson made himself big to deny Angel one-on-one. Kennedy replied with a great double save, first denying Dominic Oduro before preventing Patrick Nyarko from sliding the rebound into the net.

Not long after Kennedy's excellent pair of saves, Chivas USA was right back in it with two goals in the space of three minutes. First, Angel made amends for his own goal by turning home a cross from Mariano Trujillo that somehow squirmed its way across the Fire penalty area. Nick LaBrocca then tied it up in the 63rd minute after the Fire failed to clear a corner kick, leaving a Chivas USA talisman to finish with the outside of his left foot.

Angel almost had the go-ahead goal were it not for a crucial save from Johnson nearly ten minutes after the first Chivas USA goal. The stop proved vital, as Oduro went on to net an unlikely winner in the 85th minute after some excellent buildup play that found him free to turn home a pass from Patrick Nyarko at the far post.

The Fire were able to hold on for the win, a result that moves them up to 30 points, six off a playoff spot at the time of writing, while Chivas USA remains stuck on 31.