Fire beats Crew on Chris Rolfe’s two goals
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media September 22, 2012 11:42PM
The Fire’s Chris Rolfe (18) takes to the air to celebrate one of his two goals in the team’s victory Saturday against the Crew. | John Gress~Getty Images
Updated: October 24, 2012 6:54AM
With the regular season coming to a close and teams tightening up their defenses, scoring opportunities are becoming scarce.
The emphasis for Chris Rolfe has been on finishing when those chances come to his feet.
Saturday against the Columbus Crew at Toyota Park, the midfielder scored twice to lead the Fire to a 2-1 victory.
“Tonight was more of, hopefully, an eye-opener for the whole team that it’s going to be tougher now [to create chances],” Rolfe said. “Getting towards the end of the season and the playoffs you don’t get the same number of chances so you have to be good with your finishes.”
The Crew jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Jairo Arrieta capitalized on an errant touch by Fire goalie Sean Johnson in the 15th minute. Johnson tried to elude Arrieta with the ball, but instead essentially made a pass to the Crew striker. From there all Arrieta had to do was put the ball on frame.
Rolfe responded by scoring in the 23rd minute from 17 yards out after a corralling a through ball from striker Sherjill MacDonald. Rolfe gave the Fire the lead three minutes later when he used his left foot to put the ball in the top right-hand corner of the net.
Rolfe is renowned for his ability to put away chances, which prompted the Fire to re-sign him midseason.
“Chris scored some great goals, I mean world class goals,” Fire coach Frank Klopas said. “The second one was just amazing, putting the ball upper-90 — it was world class.
“From a defensive standpoint we’ve got to get better as a unit. I think the attitude of the guys, the work rate has been great.”
Johnson atoned for his errant pass with stellar play over the final 10 minutes, including a spectacular stop of a Josh Williams volley off a Columbus free kick in the 79th minute. Johnson had five saves this season.
“You get up and move forward,” Johnson said of his early mistake. “There was a game to play. We had about 80 minutes left in the game to get back and grind it out and get a result and the guys were able to pick up my slack tonight.”