D.C. United 0-2 Chicago Fire: Pappa, McBride Strike Late For Fire

D.C. United is put to the sword.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- For the second game in a row at home, D.C. United were undone by a late goals, as they fell to Chicago Fire 2-0 on Saturday night. With the teams stuck in a deadlock for much of the game, the introduction of striker Brian McBride made the difference for Chicago, as he combined with Patrick Nyarko to set up Marco Pappa for the game winning goal. McBride then provided his own goal for good measure in the dying moments of the game. For Chicago, it was enough for their first win of the season, while D.C. slumped to a fourth defeat in four games.

First Half

With both teams looking for their first win of the season, the game got off to a lively start. Within the first five minutes, both teams had a corner, showing the impetus each had in looking for the opening goal.

Collins John had the first decent opportunity of the match, as a Krzysztof Krol bounced to him at the top of the box. John tried to catch Troy Perkins off his line with a chipped shot, but Perkins recovered just in time to knock the shot out for a corner.

Peter Lowry had a chance to give Chicago the advantage in the 12th minute, as Justin Mapp's cross is deflected out to him outside the box. But the midfielder's shot bounced just wide of the post, having beaten Perkins.

Chicago midfield Patrick Nyarko had a good opportunity in the 21st minute, following a Jaime Moreno turnover. After Marco Pappa picked up the turnover, he left the ball for Nyarko, who worked himself a yard of space, before firing just high from outside the box.

D.C. United began to control the game for the next ten minutes, and the ball spent much more time in the Chicago half. United's best chance of the half came in the 31st minute, as Santino Quaranta sent a dangerous corner in, that met the head of Julius James. However, the header was just wide of the post, and failed to test Chicago 'keeper Andrew Dykstra.

After a possible handball was waved off by Silviu Petrescu for Chicago, the Fire created several dangerous chances. John had his shot deflected just wide across the face of the goal, and then Baggio Husidic put Nyarko's cross wide of the post.

Lowry then had a volley in the box after Lowry's shot was deflected into his path, but the midfielder's shot was straight into the hands of the grateful Perkins.

Chris Pontius had to be substituted 39 minutes into the game, as he went down on his own. Christian Castillo  came on immediately in his place, but from there, the game petered out until halftime.

Second Half

United came out of halftime with the more pep of the two teams, and looked to take the game to Chicago. The first chance came when Andy Najar won a header on Quaranta's corner kick, but there was just too much under it, as Dykstra caught it comfortably.

The game fell into a lull for the next ten minutes, as United controlled possession, but, predictably, looked lost for ideas in the final third.

In the 64th minute, Danny Allsopp won a free kick 25 yards out from goal for D.C. Quaranta took the chance, and stung the hands of Dykstra with his shot.  The rebound fell to Allsopp, but his second chance effort was blocked by Wilman Conde before it could reach Dykstra.

Najar won another header from a Quaranta corner moments later, but Krol was able to block the header before it reached his goalie.

Mapp was presented with a half decent chance in the 70th minute as a poor clearance from Rodney Wallace fell straight to the midfielder. But his effort from outside the box was disappointing in the end, failing to test Perkins.

Brian McBride came on for Collins John in the 75th minute, and it did not take long for his presence to be felt, as Chicago found the breakthrough in the 80th minute through Pappa. Nyarko worked his way down to the touchline, and then sent a pass to the top of the box for McBride, who flicked it over to the unmarked Pappa. From 15 yards out, Pappa made no mistake, thundering a shot post Perkins for the 1-0 lead.

McBride added to the lead in the 89th minute, as he won the battle for a long Dykstra free kick. He did not manage to get much on the ball, but he was able to redirect it past an out of position Perkins to ensure Chicago's first victory of the season.

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