Blanco leads Fire past Revs in SuperLiga
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Mexico midfielder Cuauhtemoc Blanco had a goal and an assist Wednesday to lead the Chicago Fire into the final of the SuperLiga with a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution.
Chicago will host the title game of the tournament for North American pro clubs Aug. 5 against a Mexican team, either Santos Laguna or Tigres UANL of the Primera Division. New England was the defending champion.
Blanco's goal on a free kick in the 63rd minute put the Fire ahead for good.
"You need big plays to win and our big players stepped up and made great plays," Chicago Coach Dennis Hamlett said.
He also helped Chicago take the lead in the 33rd when he lofted a pass to striker Brian McBride, who booted it past Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis.
New England's Edgeras Jankauskas tied it in the 44th when his bicycle kick deflected off Chicago midfielder John Thorrington and past goalkeeper Jon Busch.
The Revolution nearly tied it minutes later when Kenny Mansally's header hit the crossbar and again in the 80th minute when Kheli Dube's shot also hit the crossbar.
New England, with seven players out due to injury, suspension or national team duties, dominated the final third of the game and stoppage time.
"We didn't get what we deserved," said New England Coach Steve Nicol. "We made chances, but we were just a wee bit off when it came time to put the ball in the back of the net."