Fire beats Houston in Carolina Challenge Cup

Fire beats Houston in Carolina Challenge Cup

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (Feb. 16, 2013) The Chicago Fire defeated the Houston Dynamo 3-2 Saturday evening to open the 2013 Carolina Challenge Cup at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C. After falling behind in the 15th minute, the Fire found goals from Sherjill MacDonald and Jeff Larentowicz and were aided by a Houston Dynamo own goal for the 3-2 victory.

The 2012 MLS Cup Finalists opened scoring in the 15th minute when they won a free kick 20 yards from goal. Brad Davis laid the ball off for Adam Moffat, who blasted his shot through the Fire wall and off the fingertips of an outstretched Sean Johnson to give the Dynamo the 1-0 lead.

The Fire found the equalizer in the 23rd minute when Dilly Duka played the ball behind the Dynamo defense to MacDonald. Using his strength to fight off defenders, MacDonald raced into the box and slotted the ball under Dynamo ‘keeper Tally Hall to even the score.  

Minutes later the Men in Red would take a 2-1 lead courtesy of a Houston own goal that resulted as a loose ball ricocheted off Duka and two Dynamo defenders.

The Fire pulled further away in the second half. In the 48th minute, Jalil Anibaba raced down the right flank and crossed the ball in to Chris Rolfe, whose header was tipped over the bar by Hall. Joel Lindpere took the ensuing corner kick and found Larentowicz, whose snap header gave the Fire the 3-1 lead.

The Dynamo were able to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the 64th minute when Brad Davis whipped in a corner and found a leaping Cam Weaver whose header pulled the Dynamo within one.

In the 84th minute, 2013 MLS SuperDraft pick Yazid Atouba drew a penalty when he dribbled into the box and was taken down in the Dynamo penalty area. Maicon Santos stepped up and took the ensuing penalty but Hall dove to his right and was able to push the ball out for a corner kick.

The Fire continue Carolina Challenge Cup play when they face USL-Pro side Charleston Battery at 6:15 p.m. CT at Blackbaud Stadium on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Watch the match live on USLNation.com.

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