Game Recap Wednesday, August 22, 2001
Titan Stadium - Fullerton California United States; Attendance: 6,871
LOS ANGELES KNOCKS CHICAGO OUT OF U.S. OPEN CUP IN 1-0 OVERTIME THRILLER
FULLERTON, CA (Wednesday, August 22, 2001) – The Chicago Fire dropped a thrilling 1-0 overtime result to the rival Los Angeles Galaxy tonight when Galaxy defender Alexi Lalas scored a “Golden Goal” eliminating Chicago from the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The loss snaps the Fire’s eight-game U.S. Open Cup winning streak and is only the second blemish on the team’s record in the tournament (11-2-1) in a game reminiscent of a year ago. Fire forward Hristo Stoitchkov was substituted out of the match in the 16th minute due to a right hamstring strain.
“We’re disappointed that we are not able to continue our defense of the Open Cup title,” said Fire Head Coach Bob Bradley. “We are very proud of our players for the terrific effort they put forth. We wish the Galaxy the best of luck.”
The Galaxy won the match on a 94th minute header from Lalas taken 12 yards out after Galaxy midfielder Simon Elliott rifled in a corner kick. Los Angeles won the corner after Fire defender Carlos Bocanegra deflected Cobi Jones’ previous corner to Lalas wide after the U.S. World Cup star got his head on it.
The Fire put forth a valiant effort in defending the Open Cup blasting 10 shots at Galaxy ‘keeper Kevin Hartman, but the UCLA standout made three big saves to thwart Chicago. In the 86th minute, Fire midfielder Dema Kovalenko dribbled through the center of the midfield and with both found DaMarcus Beasley alone on the left side of the box with a low pass. Beasley then unleashed a high shot to the left corner, but Hartman palmed it away.
Fire goalkeeper Zach Thornton made five saves throughout the game including an eighth minute smothering of Galaxy forward Marvin Quijano’s header. Jones lofted a corner kick that found Los Angeles defender Ezra Hendrickson at the top of the box. The defender headed the ball towards the net, where Quijano nodded it down towards the lower left corner. Thornton dove and smothered the shot with his right hand.
In the 59th minute, Galaxy forward Sasha Victorine sent a pass down the left wing springing Quijano up field. Bocanegra tracked him down, but Quijano was able to get a shot off to the near post. Thornton leaped and blocked the shot to thwart the Galaxy.
Fire forward Ante Razov was issued a red card after the half time whistle when he confronted the referee at the center of the field. Razov was not playing in the match, but was dressed and available on the bench for the team. The suspension will carry over into the 2002 U.S. Open Cup.
The game saw exciting end-to-end action teams launching a total of 23 shots and being issued seven yellow cards and one red card ejection. The teams fought for more scoring opportunities, but the defenses stifled the attacks. The physical play and match intensity further fueled the rivalry between the teams and was reminiscent of the Fire’s 2-1 overtime Open Cup semifinal win over the Galaxy on August 23, 2000, which saw Fire forward Josh Wolff score a 112th minute goal. Galaxy forward Luis Hernandez was suspended after the game for five Open Cup matches for stomping on Fire captain Peter Nowak’s face in the overtime stanza. The fourth game of that suspension was served tonight.
The loss is the first for Chicago in the single-elimination tournament since a 1-0 downing by the A-League’s Rochester Raging Rhinos on July 14, 1999.
Los Angeles will now face the New England Revolution in the U.S. Open Cup Final on October 27 at a site to be determined.
Chicago Fire (4-4-2) Line-up:
Los Angeles Galaxy(3-5-2) Line-up:
Chicago Fire Scoring:
Los Angeles Galaxy Scoring:
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