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Fire Extinguished by Revolution

By Todd McClamroch in News on Oct 30, 2006 4:30PM

Chicago Fire LogoThe Chicago Fire's season ended after losing in penalty kicks to the New England Revolution on Saturday. The Fire went into Saturday's game with the advantage of a 1-0 aggregate goals lead. They simply needed a tie or a win to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

From the opening whistle, this was a hotly contested match. Just 20 seconds into the match, Revolution midfielder Andy Dorman put a shot on goal that required Fire keeper Matt Pickens to parry it to the side.

It was in the 18th minute that the Fire gave themselves some breathing room. Justin Mapp was able to stay in front of the defender long enough to get a low cross off that a lunging Nate Jaqua was able tap into the goal. The goal gave the Fire a 2-0 aggregate goal lead. The Revs were able to get on the scorer's sheet just before half when Joe Franchino fed a ball into Taylor Twellman, who drilled it home. Despite being tied 1-1 on the night, the Fire still had a 2-1 aggregate goal lead. That changed in the 58th minute when Franchino blasted a shot that ricocheted off Fire defender C.J. Brown. Unfortunately, the ball deflected directly to Pat Noonan who slotted the ball past Pickens to bring the series even 2-2.

Both teams continued to have opportunities but neither could find the back of the net in regulation or in the 30 minutes of overtime. So they went to penalty kicks to determine who would advance. Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis became the star of the game. He stopped the two Fire penalty kicks, one each from Thiago and Ivan Guerrero, and he also scored a penalty kick against Pickens.

With the loss, the Fire season comes to an end. The New England Revolution advance to take on DC United in the Eastern Conference Finals this weekend.