Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fire miss playoffs for 2nd straight season following Red Bulls' win

Fire's Dominic Oduro -- Getty Images
By Charlie Corr

The Chicago Fire were eliminated from postseason contention on Thursday when the New York Red Bulls defeated the Philadelphia Union, 1-0, at Red Bull Arena.

Though the official ruling was an own goal by Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon in the eighth minute, it was the Red Bulls' Dane Richards who put his header on frame to lead to the game's only goal. The 5-foot-7 Richards was unmarked by the Union defense in the box, and his header bounced off the post, hit Mondragon in the back when he was sprawled out on the pitch, and the ball crossed the goal line for an early 1-0 Red Bulls lead.

New York (10-8-16, 46 points) clinches the final postseason spot, eliminating both the Fire (8-9-16, 40 points) and the expansion Portland Timbers (11-14-8, 41 points). Chicago will wrap up its 2011 season on Saturday when it hosts the Columbus Crew at Toyota Park.


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