August 9, 2016
Fire's Open Cup run ends with semifinal loss to New England
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.--The Chicago Fire's quest to reach their seventh-ever U.S. Open Cup Final ended Tuesday night at Gillette Stadium, with a 3-1 loss to the New England Revolution.
|David Accam gave the Fire a short-lived 1-1 tie with the New England Revolution in Tuesday's 3-1 US Open Cup loss at Gillette Stadium.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
First-half goals from Kei Kamara and Je-Vaughn Watson, and a second half strike from Teal Bunbury propelled the Revolution to the win. David Accam scored the lone goal for Chicago.
New England controlled the match early, rarely giving Michael de Leeuw or Accam looks at the ball. Chicagoís back line absorbed pressure in the opening fifteen minutes, but kept the Revolution from creating much.
The Revolution got on the board early regardless, when Rodrigo Ramos brought down Kelyn Rowe at the corner of the box for an easy PK call. Kei Kamara stepped up to take the kick, converting it to give New England a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.
New England nearly doubled the lead in the 23rd minute, when a ball over the top to Kamara took a fortunate bounce to Bunbury, whose shot went just wide. Immediately coming back the other way John Goossens got Chicagoís first decent chance when he hit a left-footed blast from the top of the box with the outside of his foot, but Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton made the save.
The game remained in New England's favor throughout the first half in nearly every category that mattered. Chicago spent most of the first half sending long balls over the top to no target, and Accam didnít get his first touch on the ball until nearly the half-hour mark.
Chicago finally got the chance they needed in the 40th minute after their best spell of possession in the attacking half. De Leeuw received the ball at the top of the box, then found Accam, who danced through the box looking for space before finally finishing past Knighton to draw the game level.
The tie was short lived, however, as New England got a corner kick in the 42nd minute. Kei Kamara got on the end of the ball at the top of the six-yard box, and his glancing header fell to Je-Vaughn Watson, who again put a goal away on a set piece against Chicago, giving New England the lead back just before the half.
The Fire came out in the second half with a greater sense of urgency, although it failed to yield much early on outside a few free kicks inside 30 yards that brought no result. The Fire got a good opportunity in the 55th minute, when Arturo Alvarez sent a long cross to the back post where de Leeuw was making a run, but the Dutch forward's shot sailed over the bar off a poor first touch.
The Fire seemed to lack creativity and urgency as the game wore on, despite needing a goal to keep their Open Cup hopes alive. Bunbury fired home a laser in the 86th minute to put the game out of reach. For Chicago, it seemed the streak of 38 road games without a win across all competitions finally broke their will, as they exited the tournament with little more than a whimper.