Crew drops 1-0 decision to Chicago Fire in Carolina Challenge Cup

Danny O’Rourke plays 82 minutes in heartbreaking match sealed by Federico Puppo’s late goal

Emilio Renteria

Photo Credit: 
Tony Quinn

The Columbus Crew dropped a 1-0 decision to the Chicago Fire on Wednesday night at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C. in the second match of the Carolina Challenge Cup. Uruguayan forward Federico Puppo tallied the lone goal for Chicago in the 80th minute.

Crew coach Robert Warzycha made three changes from the lineup that played against the Charleston Battery last Saturday (Feb. 25) opting to give some significant minutes to trialists Nemanja Vukovic and Stephane Auvray as well as midfielder Danny O’Rourke.

The Black & Gold came out strong in the opening minutes creating chances but was unable to capitalize on them. Defender Chad Marshall hit the post in the 5th minute, while Milovan Mirosevic saw his chance deflected just a minute later.

Crew keeper Andy Gruenebaum was called upon in the 23rd minute when Puppo, on a breakaway, found himself one-on-one with the goalie who deftly saved the point blank shot. In the 25th minute Eddie Gaven took a  shot from inside the top of the box only to see it saved by Fire netminder Paolo Tornaghi and a minute later Vukovic tested the trialist keeper who was able to deflect the shot.

The second half carried on with both teams looking to capitalize on their chances but both defenses were able to thwart the attempts. Then in the 80th, Puppo picked up a deflection in front of the Crew goal and chipped it right over Gruenebaum for the lead.

Chicago came close to adding an insurance goal in the 86th with another shot by Puppo but Black & Gold defender Korey Veeder was able to shut him down.

The Crew wraps up its preseason and the Carolina Challenge Cup on Saturday, March 3, as it faces D.C. United in the final match of the tournament. The match kicks off at 5 p.m. and will be streamed live on www.thecrew.com.

Columbus Crew 0, Chicago Fire 1

Carolina Challenge Cup – Blackbaud Stadium, Charleston, S.C.                          
Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Scoring Summary:
CHI – Federico Puppo (Unassisted) 80

Misconduct Summary:
CHI – Amadou Sanyang (Caution) 38
CLB – Tony Tchani (Caution) 73
CHI – Gonzalo Segares (Caution) 75

Lineups:
Columbus Crew – Andy Gruenebaum, Sebastian Miranda (Josh Williams, 46), Chad Marshall (Eric Gehrig, 46), Danny O’Rourke (Korey Veeder, 82), Nemanja Vukovic* (Aaron Horton, 73), Eddie Gaven (Shaun Francis, 46), Tony Tchani (Kirk Urso, 82), Milovan Mirosevic (Olman Vargas, 46), Stephane Auvray* (Kevan George, 64), Ethan Finlay, Emilio Renteria (Tommy Heinemann, 46)

Chicago Fire – Paolo Tornaghi*, Gonzalo Segares, Hunter Jumper, Jalil Anibaba, Dan Gargan (Tony Walls, 79), Rafael Robayo (Mike Videira, 84), Daniel Paladini, Logan Pause (Pari Pantazopoulos, Amadou Sanyang (Corben Bone, 46), Kheli Dube (Lucky Mkosana, 79), Federico Puppo

*Non-roster trialist

Referee: Daniel Fitzgerald