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Shorthanded San Jose Earthquakes rally, but fall short in 3-2 loss vs. Chicago Fire

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The San Jose Earthquakes rallied to draw even with the Chicago Fire with 18 minutes to go, but a late goal denied the visitors a point against one of the hottest teams in MLS.

San Jose (5-8-6, 21 pts.) had just 16 players on its matchday roster due to a mix of injuries, international call-ups and a pair of suspensions. Still, it was the Earthquakes who were first to the scoresheet thanks to the hustle of Alan Gordon.

Gordon tallied for the second time in two games to put his squad on top in the 14th minute. Sam Cronin opened the sequence with a free kick into the box that the Fire tried to clear. Steven Beitashour found the second ball and volleyed it to Gordon in the middle of the area. Gordon’s first attempt drew the crossbar, but he followed his shot and headed home the loose ball for his third goal of 2013.

The Fire knotted the game up in the first half with a strike from Dilly Duka. Gonzalo Segares slid a pass across the top of the box that found Duka. The winger took a heavy first touch, sending the ball high into the air before bouncing a shot on frame to beat Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch to the far post.

Patrick Nyarko was next to the scoresheet for the Fire in the 47th minute. The veteran midfielder made a darting horizontal run to get in front of his defender and volley in a cross from Duka to make it 2-1 in favor of Chicago.

San Jose then equalized in the 72nd minute on a corner kick. Mehdi Ballouchy swung the spot kick into the mix where Fire substitute Joel Lindpere deflected the ball into his own net. Earthquakes defender Jason Hernandez applied pressure and nearly got a touch to claim the goal.

However, Chicago would go ahead for good in the 84th minute thanks to a tap-in from forward Chris Rolfe. Strike partner Mike Magee mishit his shot wide of the target, but Rolfe found the ball in stride and tapped in the game winner from close range to stretch his team’s unbeaten streak to six games.

Chicago Fire (6-7-3, 18 pts.) 3:2 San Jose Earthquakes (5-8-6, 21 pts.)
July 3, 2013 – Toyota Park
Attendance: 14,815

Scoring Summary: SJ – Alan Gordon (unassisted) 14; CHI – Dilly Duka (Gonzalo Segares) 36; CHI – Patrick Nyarko (Dilly Duka) 47; SJ – Joel Lindpere (own goal) 72; CHI – Chris Rolfe (Mike Magee) 84.

Misconduct Summary: CHI – Jeff Larentowicz (caution) 39.

Chicago Fire – Paolo Tornaghi, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Bakary Soumare, Gonzalo Segares, Patrick Nyarko (Joel Lindpere 64), Jeff Larentowicz, Alex (Daniel Paladini 79), Dilly Duka (Maicon Santos 87), Mike Magee, Chris Rolfe.

Substitutes Not Used: Alec Kann, Michael Videira, Wells Thompson, Sherjill McDonald.

TOTAL SHOTS: 22; SHOTS ON GOAL: 10; SAVES: 1; FOULS: 8; OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5.

San Jose Earthquakes – Jon Busch, Steven Beitashour, Brad Ring, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow, Mehdi Ballouchy (Dan Gargan 84), Sam Cronin (Marcus Tracy 86), Rafael Baca, Walter Martinez (Sam Garza 70), Adam Jahn, Alan Gordon.

Substitutes Not Used: David Bingham, Cordell Cato.

TOTAL SHOTS: 11; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; SAVES: 7; FOULS: 10; OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4.