Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fire set tone to season, win home opener over Sporting Kansas City

Marco Pappa -- Getty Images
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Last year's .500 record at home was a glaring problem that the Chicago Fire wanted to fix this season. It got off to a good start on Saturday.

Diego Chaves scored his second goal in as many games, and Gaston Puerari and Marco Pappa also added scores as the Fire defeated Sporting Kansas City, 3-2, in front of a crowd of 12,157 at their home opener at Toyota Park.

"In the past, we haven't won our first game at home, and that didn't set the tone," Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko said. "We feel like we've set the tone for the remainder of the season, and teams that come in here, we're going to try and make it a fortress."

Pappa's 59th-minute goal proved to be the game-winner for the Fire (1-0-1) as he maneuvered through four Kansas City players and slotted the ball toward the lower left side of the goal for a 3-1 lead.

"I saw Diego running [nearby], but as I had the ball in front of me, I shot," Pappa said. "I'm happy with my goal. I wanted to score today."


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