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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Two second-half goals enough for Morelia to grab series lead from Chicago

30.06.02 - Two goals in a span of ten minutes in the second half were enough to give hosts CA Monarcas Morelia of Mexico a 2:0 victory over the Chicago Fire of the USA as two sides played the first leg of their 2002 FC Champions Cup quarterfinal series at Estadio Morelos in Michoacan, Mexico.
Morales opened the scoring in the 54th minute, launching a 25 yard blast into the net past Chicago 'keeper Zach Thornton with his right foot before Fernandes added a tap-in to seal the victory for the home side.

Despite opening the match strong, creating quality oppotunities in the opening ten minutes, the hosts were unable to hit home. However, Fire nearly turned the tide on 14 minutes, a long blast from Carlos Bocanegra sailing just over the crossbar.

After the near miss by the visitors, Morelia again turned up the pressure on the Fire defence, creating several chances on Zach Thornton's goal, again coming away empty-handed. Just past the half hour, Bocanegra again threatened for Fire, 'keeper Munoz parrying his shot ovewr the bar for a deserved corner.

With the teams trading blows to end the half without success, the hosts were the better side just after the interval. Pushing forward, they appeared to get on the board in the 53rd minute, only to see a goal negated by an offside. Morelia contiued into the offensive third, eventually creating the two goals that gave them the victory.

Finding themselves in an uphill climb, Fire launced an all-out assault on the Morelia goal, but with little success once they reached the penalty area. In fact, a frutrated Kelly Gray tackling 'keeper Munoz in the 83rd minute for his secong yellow card of the evening, leaving Chicago in 10 men for the remainder of the match.

Chicago will look to overcome the defecit when they host Morelia Wednesday 10 July at Cardinal Stadium in the second leg of the series.

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Chicago Fire looking to turn momentum in return match against Morelia

09.07.02 -

Chicago Fire are looking at the return match of their 2002 FC Champions Cup quarterfinal series against CA Monarcas Morelia of Mexico as one that could change their season’s fortunes completely.
The teams face off at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville, Illinois USA on Wednesday, Morelia holding a two-goal lead on aggregate. The winner of the series will face Kansas City Wizards of the USA in the semifinals.

Chicago head coach Bob Bradley is hoping the return of a number of influential performers will spur his side’s attack as they chase the minimum three goals they will need to advance.

Midfielder Dema Kovalenko, who sat out the first game of the series with a suspension, will be looked to for energy and creativity in attack that Chicago lacked, while Bradley is also hoping for the return of speedy U.S. national team winger DaMarcus Beasley and forward Ante Razov.

Chicago have been suffering through a poor run of form recently, winning just four of their last 10 league matches. However, a 2:1 victory away to Colorado Rapids on 7 July left the side within three points of Eastern Conference leaders New York/New Jersey MetroStars, with the two facing off on Saturday 13 July at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Fire left themselves at a sizable disadvantage in the first leg, dropping a 2:0 decision at Estadio Morelos in Michoacan on 30 June. Second-half goals by Carlos Morales and Alex Fernandes nine minutes apart sealed the victory for the home side.

“We were looking for a draw and, unfortunately we were unable to maintain a 0:0 score. The important thing is that we stay alive in this very important tournament,” said Fire forward Josh Wolff. ”I am excited about returning to Chicago and our home field.”

Monarcas Morelia are in the midst of their preparations for the 2002 Torneo Invierno, after finishing in sixth place in the overall table in the 2002 Verano. They did not fare much better in the liguilla, eliminated in the quarterfinals by Pumas UNAM.

“The important thing is that we play our football, we hope the field will not make a difference, we need to adapt ourselves as soon as possible to play a good game and maintain the advantage we earned in Morelia,” said Jorge Almirón.

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Fire 2, Monarcas Morelia 1

July 11, 2002


NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) --

The Chicago Fire defeated Mexican club Monarcas Morelia 2-1 Wednesday in the second leg of the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

Despite the loss, Morelia advanced to the semifinals of the tournament, winning the two-game series 3-2 on total goals.

Morelia defeated Chicago 2-0 on June 30.

Defender Dema Kovalenko scored twice for Chicago in the 61st and 66th minutes. Antonio Gonzalez opened the scoring for Morelia the 41st.

Morelia will face another MLS club, the Kansas City Wizards, in the semis.

Not enough for the Fire to remain in the Tournament..The Wizards now have to avenge their MLS brothers !!!

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