Posted on July 15, 2012
BRIDGEVIEW, ILL. — Former Mexican international Pavel Pardo scored off a free kick to lift the 10-man Chicago Fire to a 1-0 Major League Soccer win over the Vancouver Whitecaps at Toyota Park on Saturday night.
The victory lifted the Fire (9-6-4, 31 points) into a third-place tie with the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference. The Red Bulls host the Seattle Sounders on Sunday. The Whitecaps, who featured Jamaicans Darren Mattocks and newly acquired Dane Richards, fell to 8-6-6 and 30 points.
The Fire was forced to play the final 21 minutes of the encounter a man down after midfielder Arne Friedrich incurred his second yellow card of the match.
The hosts managed to get through and record three points.
“I know the last game here, at home against the Galaxy, we didn’t play good, and we knew it,” Pardo said of last week’s 2-0 home loss. “Today we had to be better. The last day was an off-day for us, and today we had to bring more on the field. We brought a lot of energy in the first half. It was very, very important to win today, because it’s three points, and we’re tied [for] third place, so it’s good for us to stay tied with the teams that are at the top.”
Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko slid through the defense before drawing a ninth minute foul just outside the box by Jun Marques Davidson. On the ensuing free kick, Pardo stepped up and lofted a right-footed ball over the Whitecaps backline and inside the left post to give the hosts a 10th-minute lead.
“You know, in the last game, also it was a great save from the goalkeeper in the same spot,” Pardo said. “But today it was really good. When I kicked the ball I knew it. You know when sometimes you kick very well you know it’s going to be on the net. So I was really happy, but more happy for three points. And more happy because today the team brought . . . a lot of energy. Defensively we were good. Width with the ball, that’s the most important.”
The Fire managed to keep Mattocks, who had tallied six goals in his last six matches, in tow. Richards, traded to Vancouver from the Red Bulls for forward Sebastien Le Toux, made his Whitecaps debut at halftime, replacing Alain Rochat.
Chciago’s Guatemalan standout midfielder Marco Pappa sat out the match after suffering from an upper respiratory infection during the week.
Photo: Pavel Pardo scored the lone goal in Chicago’s win over Vancouver. Andy Mead/YCJ
Categories: Caribbean, Central America, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, North America
Tags: Chicago Fire, Dane Richards, Darren Mattocks, Major League Soccer, Marco Pappa, Pavel Pardo, Vancouver Whitecaps