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Sounders Beat Fire In US Cup Final

Sounders Beat Fire In US Cup Final

Updated: Wednesday, 05 Oct 2011, 10:02 PM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 05 Oct 2011, 10:02 PM CDT

SEATTLE, Wash. (Oct. 4, 2011) – Facing a daunting atmosphere of a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup-record crowd of 36,615 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash the Chicago Fire were undone by second half goals from Fredy Montero and Osvaldo Alonso as the hosting Seattle Sounders FC became the first Major League Soccer club to win three consecutive Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles.


Spurred by the partisan home crowd, Sounders FC threatened the Fire early, coming close to goal twice inside the first ten minutes. The first came in the eighth minute as left winger Lamar Neagle flicked on a header at the top of the 18 into the path of the onrushing Mike Fucito. The Sounders striker took a touch into the box but was met off his line by charging Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson.


The attack two minutes later came from the other side as Uruguayan midfielder Alvaro Fernandez swung in a cross to the six where Johnson came off his line to swat the effort away. The ball fell for Osvaldo Alonso at the top of the Fire penalty area but the Sounders FC midfielder hit his one-time follow-up wide left of Johnson’s goal.


The Fire turned around to pick up the attack just a minute later as Guatemalan international Marco Pappa collected a loose ball on the right before driving to the top of the box and unleashing a bulleting effort that Kasey Keller pushed down to the ground before collecting on the bounce in the 11th minute.


Seattle threatened 12 minutes later as Fucito swung in a free kick from the right that Johnson came off his line to punch before the ball fell to the feet of Alonso who blasted an effort thtat was headed away by Fire midfielder Daniel Paladini in the 23rd minute.


It was Pappa again who provided the danger for the Fire in the 39th minute as the Guatemalan collected the ball on the right before driving to the top of the Seattle penalty area and unleashing a deflected shot that forced Keller back down to his left to make the save.


Into first half stoppage time, the Sounders Fredy Montero collected the ball 30 yards left of goal before cutting into open space and pinging an effort past Johnson and off the near post. The rebound fell to Fucito just outside the area who put his effort wide of goal to take the sides into the half at a scoreless deadlock.


Going into the second half Seattle brought on Erik Friberg at midfield for the injured Fernandez and it took only eight minutes for the Swedish midfielder to provide danger up the left as he lobbed a ball to Fucito in the box before the striker popped a shot over Johnson that slowly rolled off the back post before being cleared away in the 53rd minute.


Seattle continued to control possession throughout the second stanza and finally broke through when Friberg’s 78th minute corner kick found the head of Jeff Parke at the six. The Sounders defender nodded down an effort, forcing an incredible reaction save out of Johnson, but Montero was there to tumble the ball into the back of the net from three yards away.


Forced to look for an equalizer, the Fire brought on attacking substitutes Diego Chaves and Sebastian Grazzini inside the final 10 minutes of play but got caught out as they pressed forward. Alonso collected a ball at midfield, dribbled into the box past a desperation tackle from Jalil Anibaba and around the onrushing Johnson before finishing into the empty net to seal a 2-0 victory.


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