for this game

Fire 3, Chivas USA 2

May 29, 2009 - 6:04 AM By LUIS BUENO STATS MLS Writer

CARSON, Calif. (STATS) - On his way out of the country, Cuauhtemoc Blanco left with a nifty parting gift.

Blanco, scheduled to join the Mexican national team Friday in Mexico City to prepare for World Cup qualifiers, converted a penalty kick with seconds left in second-half stoppage time capped a late rally as the Chicago Fire remained unbeaten with a 3-2 victory over 10-man Chivas USA on Thursday night.

"I leave happy because the team worked hard and showed a lot in coming back to win the game," said Blanco, who was recalled to the Mexican national team after having briefly retired from international play.

Chivas (7-2-3) led 2-1 until Patrick Nyarko scored in the 89th minute for Chicago. Chivas, down to 10 men after Jesse Marsch was given his second yellow card in the 63rd minute, were then called for a foul inside the box when Mariano Trujillo knocked down Brian McBride inside the penalty area.

Blanco, who also scored from the 12-yard spot in the 25th minute, beat Zach Thornton to help the Fire improve to 5-0-6 and cap a sweep of their three-game road trip.

Chivas coach Preki Radosavljevic said McBride took a dive.

"This is incredible," said Preki. "In our own house we get called for two penalty kicks."

Chicago coach Denis Hamlett, though, said the call was warranted.

"You can't just take a free shot at a guy in the box," he said. "You have to play the ball."

Chivas opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Paulo Nagamura curved a 30-yard shot inside the right post for his career-high fourth goal of the season.

But the lead did not last long. The Fire were awarded a penalty kick after Shavar Thomas grabbed Wilman Conde's jersey and dragged him down inside the penalty area. With many of the fans cheering on the Mexican star, Blanco placed it into the back of the net as Thornton dived helplessly.

Galindo grabbed the lead back for Chivas in the 37th minute. Bakary Soumare tackled Galindo inside the penalty area, and referee Terry Vaughn awarded the hosts a penalty kick, which Galindo converted.

The game turned in Chicago's favor when Marsch was sent off. He had picked up a yellow card in the 51st minute and saw a second yellow after a rough tackle on Blanco. It was one of seven yellow cards issued to Chivas by Vaughn, who handed out 11 cautions overall.

"The red card changed the game," Hamlett said. "I thought our guys stepped up a few notches and put pressure on them."

Chicago had just two shots on goal before Marsch was ejected. Afterward, the Fire placed four shots on goal and converted two.

While Chivas' defense eventually gave in while short-handed, Preki thought a third goal that would have provided a two-goal lead would have been enough for a win.

"We're not going to whine about (the officiating)," Preki said. "We should have put the game away before that. I don't think they had one shot, apart from the penalty kick... until Jesse got a red card. It was one-way traffic and just a matter of time until we were going to score the third and we had chances to put them away and we didn't."