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Revolution 1, Fire 0

Revolution put out Fire on Perovic’s goal

By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / July 18, 2010

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — The SuperLiga was not conceived with the Revolution in mind. In fact, the initial competition in 2007 excluded the Revolution, though they were the Eastern Conference champions.

But the Revolution are continuing to make their mark on the event, taking a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire last night, assuring them of first place in Group B and advancing to the second round.

The result broke a Revolution eight-game winless streak (0-7-1, 16-3 goal differential) at Toyota Park in all competitions.

Marko Perovic provided the goal in the 77th minute, the third straight game he has provided the deciding goal or assist.

“The fact we haven’t won here for so long tells you how difficult it is,’’ Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. “The onus was on them, they’re the home team, to come at us. We had to make sure we didn’t make any mistakes and try and break on them, and that’s kind of how it worked out. Clean sheet, it’s huge, it’s always good for the confidence.’’

The Revolution play host to Morelia Tuesday. Las Monarcas met UNAM Pumas in the second game of a doubleheader last night.

Chicago, which lost to Morelia (5-1) in its opener, played through striker Collins John, whose strength and ability to hold the ball set up the Fire’s wide game. Chicago attacked with Marco Pappa on the right and then brought in Justin Mapp to add a left-wing threat in the second half. A Pappa cross led to Mike Banner hitting the left post (13th minute) and Pappa fired wide on an injury-time breakaway in the opening half. Mapp went high with an unmarked header (54th) off a Pappa cross.

The Revolution were content to defend and pick their spots attacking. Sainey Nyassi made strong runs on the right wing, but the Revolution failed to capitalize on his crosses (28th, 63d) into the goal area.

Kheli Dube replaced Zack Schilawski in the 65th minute and 10 minutes later hurried a half-volley over the net. Dube then dispossessed Kwame Watson-Siriboe, poking the ball to Perovic, who had time to place a low shot from 25 yards to the left of goalkeeper Sean Johnson.

“It was roasting out there,’’ Nicol said. “We were sweating sitting on the bench, so you know what it was like for them running about. It was too hot, you can’t — there’s no air, so when you make a run it takes you three days to try and get some breath back, so it makes it hard on the wide guys. It was hard on everybody, but on the wide guys, particularly. That’s what we said, obviously, you’ve got to adapt and don’t waste energy on daft runs or being out of position, or stuff like that.’’

The Revolution improved to 7-1-3 all time in SuperLiga games.

Perovic once again followed the advice of goalkeeper coach Remi Roy in firing his shot past Johnson. Perovic credited Roy’s guidance with helping on a free kick in a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy last week.

“Remi had said at halftime to get the ball low and get it wide and that’s exactly what [Perovic] did,’’ Nicol said. “He got it low and wide. He’s got that in his locker, he’s capable of doing that and he did it.’’

But the score was set up by Dube.

“As soon as you lose the ball you try to win it back,’’ Dube said. “It could have been anybody. It happened that I won the ball back and we got a goal.

“I had a good first touch [on the previous attempt] but as soon as I tried to hit it, I hit it with my shin pad. I’m getting chances and I think I’ll start getting goals. It’s frustrating for a forward but you’ve got to do other stuff, too, and if you’re not getting goals, you’ve got to be helping the team win games. As soon as I start getting goals, things will be fine.’’

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