July 8, 2012
by Kathryn L. Knapp
BACK TO REALITY
Fire unbeaten streak snapped with 2-0 loss to Galaxy
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - A sellout crowd flocked to Toyota Park Sunday, partially dressed in David Beckham and Landon Donovan jerseys. At first it looked as if they'd be disappointed, since Beckham was suspended and Donovan didn't start. But the match turned into the Robbie Keane show, as the Galaxy forward tallied two goals, leading the defending MLS champions to a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire.
|Robbie Keane did all the damage as the Chicago Fire fell 2-0 to the LA Galaxy on Sunday.
LInda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
In the 24th minute, Fire defender Jalil Anibaba attempted to block the ball in the box. It deflected off his arm for a handball and Galaxy penalty kick. Keane lined up in front of the goal and buried the shot into the lower right corner past Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who dove to the left.
Down 1-0 at the half, the Fire made offensive changes immediately. Brazilian international Alex entered the match as a substitution for Logan Pause in the 46th minute.
The Fire attempted to ignite things early in the second half. Pavel Pardo took a free kick for the Fire in the 50th minute. He drilled the ball directly on target, only to have Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders punch it over the bar.
Fire defender Gonzalo Segares crossed a perfect ball in front of the goal in the 57th minute. No one was there to finish the attempt, ending in a Galaxy goal kick.
Keane had a good look in the 64th minute, running toward goal. Fire defenders met up with him and he backed the ball up to Juninho, who sent the ball right into Johnson's arms.
Donovan entered the match in the 65th minute, replacing Chad Barrett. Soon after Donovan stepped onto the pitch, the momentum soon began to swing in favor of the Galaxy.
But first the Fire attempted to tie things up. Chris Rolfe had the best opportunity yet for Chicago in the 77th minute. Rolfe effortlessly kicked the ball toward the lower left post. Saunders got a hand on it pushing it out for a corner kick.
Donovan took charge of the counter attack, sprinting toward the goal with two defenders marking him. What the defenders didn't see, was a wide open Keane who was streaking toward goal on the left side of the pitch. Donovan sent the ball to Keane who rocketed the shot into the goal for a 2-0 L.A. advantage.
Keane sprinted toward goal again unmarked in the 86th minute, but defenders caught up with him before he was able to tally another goal.
The two goals are the most allowed by the Fire in a match since a June 2nd 2-0 loss to the Revolution. And were enough to hand the Fire its first loss in a month.
The loss halted the Fire's four-game unbeaten streak. Chicago (8-6-4, 28 points continues its home stretch, hosting Vancouver on July 14th. The Galaxy snapped its two-game losing streak and improved to 7-11-2 (23 points).