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Fire eliminates Revolution

Chicago advances to the Eastern Conference final after a 3-2 aggregate win.

November 08, 2009|Staff And Wire Reports

BRIDGEVIEW, ILL. — John Thorrington and Cuauhtemoc Blanco scored as the Chicago Fire advanced to the Eastern Conference final, beating the New England Revolution, 2-0, on Saturday night to win the two-leg series, 3-2, on aggregate.

Chicago entered the match trailing after a 2-1 loss at New England last weekend. Thorrington scored in the 35th minute of Game 2 with Marco Pappa and Brandon Prideaux getting assists. Blanco sealed the win with six minutes left in regulation.

"I couldn't have scripted it any better," Thorrington said. "It's just a gratifying feeling to repay the faith the staff and the organization put in me by throwing me out there after having been out for so long. But that's my job to go out there and play my best, and thankfully it worked out tonight."

Thorrington hadn't played since injuring his groin Aug 19. He sneaked a low drive from 10 yards past keeper Matt Reis.

It's the second consecutive season in which Chicago has eliminated New England from the playoffs, and fourth in eight postseason matchups.

Chicago will host Real Salt Lake, which beat Columbus, 4-2, on aggregate two days ago, next Saturday. This will be the Fire's third consecutive appearance in the conference final, where it has lost each of the previous two.

Chicago outshot New England 21-12 and had 13 shots on net; the Revolution had four.

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