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Mapp's kick gives Fire win in playoff opener

Oct 22, 2006 - 10:28 PM BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois (Ticker) -- Justin Mapp put the Chicago Fire one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals.

Mapp's free kick in the 35th minute gave the Fire a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution in Game One of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The lone goal of the game came after a foul was committed by New England's Jay Heaps on Chicago midfielder Chris Armas in the 34th minute.

Mapp booted the free kick over New England's five-man wall and into the net just inside the right post from 19 yards out. It was the midfielder's first career playoff goal.

The two-game series continues Saturday when the teams reunite at Gillette Stadium. The team with the higher combined goals total at the end of the two games advances to the conference championship game.

The win gives Chicago a 5-4-0 all-time playoff series lead over the New England. It's the fifth time in seven years the Fire and Revolution have met in the postseason.

Chicago goalkeeper Matt Pickens made eight saves for the shutout, while New England's Matt Reis made two saves. The teams combined for 38 fouls and five cautions in the contest.

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