Eagles fall to Chicago Fire

Rock Hill, SC — The Chicago Fire ended the Charlotte Eagles 2013 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup run with a 2-0 victory at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. The Fire goals from Mike Magee, on his Fire debut, and Chris Rolfe while Paolo Tornaghi made 3 saves to keep the clean sheet.

Chicago controlled much of the possession in the first 10 minutes and was rewarded with a goal from newly acquired Mike Magee on a cross from Gonzalo Segares in the 11th minute. Chicago enjoyed a 5-1 shot advantage in the opening 20 minutes.

The Eagles seemed to settle in after giving up the opening goal playing with more urgency and composure after conceding the early goal.

Shaun Francis came up with the Eagles best chance in the 27th minute as his shot just clipped the crossbar. Francis was active again as his cross found Tommy Smith in the penalty area, but Smith’s header was high of goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi’s net.

The Fire came close to striking again in the 35th minute off a corner kick but the ball was cleared off the line by midfielder Juan Guzman.

Charlotte received another chance as Bakary Soumare was shown a yellow card 39th minute for taking down Samuel Asante but Shaun Francis’ free kick was headed away from danger. Just before halftime Francis again created an Eagles chance as he cut onto his weaker right foot and sent a shot just wide of the far post.

Chicago took a 1-0 lead into the half.

Chicago’s counter attack sprung Mike Magee whose shot in the 50th minute tested Eagles keeper Eric Reed who pushed it wide of the post.

Chris Rolfe doubled Chicago’s advantage in the 57th minute with a beautiful left footed shot from the top of the box to the opposite corner, beating Eric Reed who was at full stretch.

In the 59th minute Shaun Francis’ goalmouth cross found Sam Asante whose lunging shot attempt just missed the right post. Francis was dangerous all night running up and down the left flank, causing problems for Jalil Anibaba.

Chicago enjoyed much of the possession following the second goal of the evening. The Eagles pressed for a goal in the final 15 minutes but Shaun Francis’ free kick was punched wide by Paolo Tornaghi in the 80th minute. Christian Meza’s late shot in the 88th minute didn’t test Tornaghi and the match ended in favor of Chicago 2-0.

The Chicago Fire advance to the 4th round to take on the winner of the Dayton Dutch Lions of USL PRO and the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer. The game will be played at Toyota Park in Chicago.

The Eagles next game will be this Saturday, June 1st as the Harrisburg City Islanders will visit Queens Sports Complex in USL PRO regular season action.

Keep that Orange Flag Flying High and we’ll see you at Queens Sports Complex for Princess and Mustache night on Saturday, June 1st.