Fire end 10-game winless skid in ColoradoJul 5, 2009 - 4:35 AM By DALE BUBLITZ STATS MLS Correspondent
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (STATS) - The Chicago Fire got a challenge from coach Denis Hamlett before their game with Colorado and they responded with a rare road win over the Rapids.
Marco Pappa and Wilman Conde scored in the first half and the Fire ended a 10-game winless slide in Colorado with a 2-1 victory on Saturday night.
"I told them that the challenge was we hadn't won in Colorado in 10 years," Hamlett said. "We talked about the things we did well the first half of the season and we agreed we had to get better."
?? Consider the streak over.
Chicago (6-3-6) had been 0-6-4 on the road against the Rapids since 1999. The Fire also were coming off a three-week absence from the MLS schedule to play three SuperLiga matches, and hadn't played a league match since losing to D.C. United on June 13.
?? "That was good for us, too," Pappa said. "It gave us time to think things over and work things out."
?? There was also a continuation of strong play on the road. The Fire improved to 5-1-3 away from home this year.
?? "I can't explain it," Chicago goalkeeper Jon Busch said. "Maybe it's our routine and the fact the road brings us closer together."
?? Hamlett agreed.
?? "Our problems at home are going to change," Hamlett said.
Jacob Peterson scored for Colorado (5-4-6), which has lost two straight for the first time this season. The Rapids also dropped to 11-2-1 on Fourth of July matches.
?? "I have no explanation for the way we played tonight," said Colorado forward Conor Casey, returned after missing the team's past four games to be with the U.S. national team. "We came out flat and dug ourselves a deep hole and couldn't come back."
Casey leads the Rapids with eight goals.
Pappa scored his fifth goal of the season in the 30th minute. He took a pass from Baggio Husidic just outside the crease and nudged the ball past Matt Pickens' right hand.
?? "I got a great pass from Baggio," Pappa said. "I had to make a small move to get open to get a shot off."
Conde made it 2-0 in the 37th minute with a goal off a header. Cuauhtemoc Blanco sent a corner kick into the middle of the field, and Conde finished the play with his second goal.
Colorado nearly took a lead in the 14th minute, but Mehdl Ballouchy hit the center of the crossbar from 15 yards.
The Fire went into a defensive mode in the second half, but the Rapids avoided the shutout in the 76th minute. The ball was stopped near the right post and Peterson ran up and kicked it into the net for his first goal.
?? "It was down and dusty in the first half," Colorado coach Gary Smith said. "Chicago was better than us in the first half and that's when the game was won."
COLORADO 1 FINAL
Jul 4 10:57 PM
- MLS UPDATE
COLORADO GOAL: Jacob Peterson in the 76th minute
Fire 2, Rapids 1 2nd - 76'Jul 4 10:41 PM
COLORADO 0 HALFTIME
Jul 4 9:55 PM
- MLS UPDATE
CHICAGO GOAL: Wilman Conde in the 38th minute
Fire 2, Rapids 0 1st - 38'Jul 4 9:46 PM
- MLS UPDATE
CHICAGO GOAL: Marco Pappa in the 30th minute
Fire 1, Rapids 0 1st - 30'Jul 4 9:40 PM
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