Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fire advance to U.S. Open Cup

Daniel Paladini -- Getty Images
The Chicago Fire edged the San Jose Earthquakes, 5-4, in a shootout on Tuesday at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., to advance to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Chicago overcame a 2-0 deficit, needed 120 minutes and then penalty kicks during its play-in match to assure itself a spot in the Open Cup for a 14th straight season.

Daniel Paladini's strike proved to be the shootout winner for the four-time Open Cup champion Fire. Following Paladini, the Quakes' Scott Sealy hit the frame to close out the match.

"I didn't think about it," Paladini said of his winning strike. "In a sudden death moment like that, you just have to put it in the back of the net. It was definitely exciting, and when the opposing team misses the last shot, he made himself big out there and hit the post."


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