Fire overcomes disallowed goal, beats Red Bulls
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media June 17, 2012 10:52PM
Dominic Oduro (left), who had a goal disallowed, battles with Wilman Conde. | Getty Images
Updated: July 19, 2012 6:23AM
There have been times this season when the Fire has emotionally checked out of games, allowing opponents to rally or jump ahead.
But even after Dominic Oduro’s go-ahead goal Sunday against the New York Red Bulls was disallowed by the officials, the Fire kept its composure and earned a 3-1 victory at Toyota Park.
The team’s resolve was a surprise — even for some of its players.
“Surprisingly, we didn’t go down a goal,” midfielder Patrick Nyarko said.
“We’re accustomed to going down a goal, and I think that wakes us up. We need to change that.”
With the game tied at 1, Oduro beat Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara in the 63rd minute after a perfect through ball from striker Chris Rolfe.
Replays showed the ball clearly crossed line, but the officials ruled that former Fire defender Wilman Conde kicked it away in time.
It didn’t take long for the Fire (6-5-3, 21 points) to strike again.
Defender Gonzalo Segares scored from six yards out in the 68th minute after Meara deflected a shot by Oduro.
Rolfe sealed the game in the 81st minute, one-touching Nyarko’s pass from a yard out. Rolfe, who came in for Sebastian Grazzini in the 61st minute, changed the momentum with his ability to push the ball forward.
It was Rolfe’s second game back and first at home since spraining his ankle in his second training session after signing with the Fire on a free transfer from Danish club Aalborg BK on April 16. Rolfe played with the Fire from 2005 to 2009.
“The guys responded well to that unallowed goal,” Rolfe said. “I think we responded really well to that and finished the game really strong.
“I combined pretty well with the guys, for the most part, and we created chances.”
Inserting Rolfe was a no-brainer for coach Frank Klopas, who was looking to generate offense after Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty tied the game in the 55th minute, but taking Grazzini out was somewhat perplexing.
Grazzini, the Fire’s best playmaker, assisted on the first goal in the fourth minute.
He chipped the ball across the box to Nyarko, who headed it in.
In the midst of a contract dispute with the team, Grazzini was visibly upset with the substitution.
He appeared to exchange words with Klopas and threw something at the bench. Grazzini left the locker room before reporters arrived after the game.