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Nyarko’s goal caps rally for 2-1 Fire win in U.S. Open Cup

Chicago Fire Vs PhiladelphiUnion.Saturday Chicago Fire No.14 Partick Nyarko keeps ball play.  March 24 2012. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Chicago Fire Vs Philadelphia Union.Saturday, Chicago Fire No.14 Partick Nyarko keeps the ball in play. March 24, 2012. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Since being traded to the Fire four games ago, forward Mike Magee has somewhat masked the offensive problems that have plagued the team all season.

But the Fire’s 2-1 victory Thursday over the Columbus Crew at Toyota Park in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup could be considered a breakthrough.

Magee scored the Fire’s first goal in the 28th minute, tapping the ball into an open net. But the opportunity was created by a series of creative passes from left back Gonzalo Segares and midfielder Alex.

Magee has scored in his first four games with the Fire.

“That first goal, I get the tap-in,” Magee said. “But it was a lot of work for me to just touch it into the goal. When we start wanting the ball and guys are getting around it, we’re so dangerous.”

The Fire advances to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup on June 26 against Orlando City SC at Toyota Park.

As much as the Fire was encouraged by the two-goal output, there were still concerns about conceding early goals. Columbus’ Konrad Warzycha scored the first goal in the 24th minute. The Fire rallied with Magee’s goal four minutes later and a Patrick Nyarko header in the 78th minute, but it knows it has to tighten up its play early in games.

Lapses in concentration have led to poor marking. Those mistakes don’t always result in goals, but they do lead to set pieces, and the Fire struggles when defending set pieces because it has one of the shorter lineups in the league.

“It’s the responsibility of the guys on the field to make sure everybody is focused and alert, and, look, sometimes you get beat on stuff,” coach Frank Klopas said. “But the good thing is, we found a way to score two goals.”

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