The Chicago Fire (1-3-1; 4 points) defeated Eastern Conference foes New York Red Bulls (1-2-2; 5 points) 3-1 Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park. The Red Bulls found an early, 17th minute goal from Jamison Olave but the Fire were propelled by a Daniel Paladini equalizer and Maicon Santos brace for their first victory of the 2013 season.
The visitors opened scoring in the 17th minute when Juninho’s corner kick found Tim Cahill at the far post. The Australian headed the ball across the goal to Jamison Olave. With his back towards goal, the Colombian defender volleyed the into the side netting to put Red Bull ahead 1-0.
The Fire looked to catch a break in the 24th minute when Jonny Steele was called for handball in the penalty box after Jeff Larentowicz’s long-range effort knocked the Northern Irishman’s hand. Rolfe lined up the ensuing penalty kick but pushed his effort went wide left of goal.
The Fire found the equalizer minutes before halftime. Hunter Jumper pounced on a weak Red Bulls clearance on the left flank and swung a cross into the six-yard-box. Paladini shook his defender and got on the end of the cross, snapping his header down ahead of Red Bull ‘keeper Luis Robles for the 44th minute equalizer.
In the 69th minute, second half substitute Thierry Henry carried the ball to the top of the arc and unleashed a left-footed blast from that rattled the post. Peguy Luyindula was unable to connect with the rebound and the Fire defense cleared the ball out to safety.
The Fire found the game-winner in the 83rd minute. Paladini won the ball in the center circle and played Maicon Santos into the box on the left. The crafty Brazilian received the ball, cut it back losing his defender, and coolly side-footed under Robles into the goal.
Santos completed his brace in the 89th minute. Paladini took the Fire free kick 40 yards from goal and found Larentowicz at the far post. The midfielder headed it across the face of goal to Santos, who tapped it for a final score of 3-1.