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