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FC Dallas continues dominance over Chicago

May 18, 2007 - 3:44 AM BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois (Ticker) -- FC Dallas took advantage of the gang that couldn't shoot straight.

Kenny Cooper scored on a penalty kick and Juan Toja added a second-half goal as FC Dallas held on for a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire in the first Brimstone Cup meeting of the season between the teams.

Calen Carr scored the goal for the Fire, who lost their third straight game, surrendering eight goals in the process.

Chicago (3-3-1) enjoyed a wide edge in play but could not convert on numerous opportunities, hitting the crossbar twice and the post. The Fire were hurt by the absence of leading scorer Chris Rolfe, who sat out with a sprained ankle.

"I think you expect that away from home," FC Dallas coach Steve Morrow said. "I thought we soaked up the early pressure well and defended it well. We had a few problems defensively that we talked about at the halftime."

The Fire had 14 corner kicks to just one for FC Dallas (4-3-1), which improved to 9-2 against Chicago in the last 11 meetings and took over first place in the Western Conference.

"I'm not a statistics guy, but 14 corner kicks shows you we were in their end a lot," Fire coach Dave Sarachan said.

Cooper put FC Dallas in front in the 24th minute. Breaking in alone on net, he attempted to deke goalkeeper Matt Pickens. As Cooper went around Pickens, the goalkeeper took him down even though it appeared Cooper would not be able to get to the ball before it crossed the goal line.

Pickens guessed wrong on the penalty kick, diving to his right, and Cooper punched the ball into the net for his fourth goal of the season, tying him for second in MLS.

"It was a big win for us coming off two losses at home," Cooper said. "We've responded really well. ... We have gotten off to a great start. ... I think we are a deep squad. It's a good feeling."

Chicago's best chance to tie in the opening half came in the 33rd minute. Off its fifth corner of the game, Dasan Robinson's over-the-head kick rang off the crossbar.

Cooper almost doubled the lead in the 54th minute with a 25-yard bullet off the crossbar, but Toja converted less than six minutes later.

Taking a nice touch pass from Abe Thompson, the Colombian netted his second goal in as many games with a 20-yard shot that ticked off the toe of defender Gonzalo Segares.

Carr finally broke through for the Fire when he slid to meet a crossing pass from Chad Barrett in the 73rd minute to beat keeper Dario Sala to cut the deficit in half, 2-1. Thiago also was credited with an assist on what was the first shot on goal for Chicago.

"Thiago started a great play. I played the middle man on the play," Barrett said. " Thiago has great vision, he found me. I had a good first touch, Calen (Carr) did a great job to get in front of his guy and made it easy for me to find him for the goal."

Chicago just missed the equalizer 10 minutes later when Thiago headed a pass from Justin Mapp off the left post.

Pickens had two saves while Sala did not have any.

"In the first half, we were in full control," Sarachan said. "Dallas got a gift of a penalty but that's soccer. ... We need to tighten at each end of the field."

  • MLS

    May 17 10:01 PM
  • 20
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots

    FC Dallas vs. FireMay 17 9:57 PM

    CHICAGO GOAL: Calen Carr in the 73rd minute

    FC Dallas vs. FireMay 17 9:40 PM

    FC DALLAS GOAL: Juan Toja in the 60th minute

    FC Dallas vs. FireMay 17 9:28 PM

  • MLS

    May 17 8:56 PM

    FC DALLAS PENALTY GOAL: Kenny Cooper in the 24th minute

    FC Dallas vs. FireMay 17 8:32 PM