Chicago Fire 1-0 Columbus Crew
The Chicago Fire (2-4-1, 7 points) defeated long-time Eastern Conference rivals Columbus Crew (2-2-3, 9 points) Saturday evening at Toyota Park. Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz scored his first goal in a Fire shirt, tallying the only goal of the match in the 83rd minute to give the Fire the 1-0 victory.
In the fourth minute, Crew defender Tyson Wahl sent in a free kick from 40 yards out to Chad Marshall, who headed it down for Agustin Viana who slid the ball in to goal but the goal was called offside.
After a scoreless first half, the Fire started the second with renewed vigor. In the 55th minute, Patrick Nyarko won the ball on the midfield line, spun his defender and headed towards goal. The fleet-footed Ghanaian found Chris Rolfe at the top of the 18 but the Kettering, Ohio native’s left-footed shot went just wide.
In the 74th minute, Estonian international Joel Lindpere whipped in a corner kick that was headed out by Marshall. The clearance fell to Nyarko, who drove in a cross to a rising Austin Berry but his snap header was saved from crossing the line at the last second by Gruenebaum.
The Fire’s offensive pressure would pay dividends in the 83rd minute. Defender Jalil Anibaba sent a long throw to Berry, who flicked the ball on for Larentowicz at the top of the penalty box. The Philadelphia, Penn. product nodded the ball past Gruenebaum to give the Fire the 1-0 lead.
Deep into stoppage time, the Crew won a free kick 40 yards form goal. Federico Higuain whipped in a free kick that found Chad Marshall, but his header went just wide of Sean Johnson’s goal.
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson, Wells Thompson, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; Patrick Nyarko (Daniel Paladini 87’), Logan Pause ©, Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere (Dilly Duka 83’); Chris Rolfe, Sherjill MacDonald (Maicon Santos 78’)
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Hunter Jumper, Michael Videira, Alex
Columbus Crew: Andy Gruenebaum; Josh Williams, Chad Marshall, Glauber, Tyson Wahl; Ben Speas (Agustin Viana 65’), Danny O’Rourke (Kevan George 82’), Agustin Viana, Eddie Gaven; Dominic Oduro (Ethan Finlay 76’), Federico Higuain
Substitutes not used: Matt Lampson, Chad Barson, Kevan George, Matias Sanchez, Ryan Finley
CHI – Jeff Larentowicz (Austin Berry, Jalil Anibaba) 83’
CHI – Gonzalo Segares (caution) 6’
CHI – Wells Thompson (caution) 13’
CLB – Glauber (caution) 85’
CHI – Daniel Paladini (caution) 87’
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistants: Brian Poeschel, Jason Cullum
Fourth Official: Daniel Radford