Gabby Agbonlahor struck in the 29th minute, and that was all English Premier League side Aston Villa needed in a 1-0 victory over the Fire in an international friendly match Saturday night at Toyota Park.
Agbonlahor, who had to be carted off with an injury in the second half, scored on a header after a brilliant setup by Villa right back Chris Herd. The Fire were unable to mount much of a buildup against Villa's tight midfield and back-line, which included Chicagoland native Eric Lichaj at left back.
Keeper Brad Guzan, who grew up in Homer Glen, entered the match in the 79th minute for Ireland international Shay Given. Guzan, who's expected to push Given for Villa's No. 1 keeper job, didn't face a shot until the final seconds of the match, which he saved.
For the Fire, back-liner Jalil Anibaba stood out -- if laudatory comments from Aston Villa supporters on CSNChicago.com's live stream of the match were any indication.