Wednesday, Sept 28, 2011Posted: 11:05 p.m.
SANDY, UTAH (AP) Marco Pappa scored three goals to lift the Chicago Fire to a rare road victory with a 3-0 defeat of Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night.
A record setting crowd of 20,762 at Rio Tinto Stadium watched as Pappa brought Chicago (7-8-15) only its second road win of the season. The loss spoiled the return of midfielder Javier Morales, who entered the match as a sub in the 60th minute. It was the first action for Morales since suffering a gruesome ankle injury in May.
Things turned sour for Salt Lake (15-9-6) in a matter of a couple minutes early in the first half.
Chicago seized a quick 1-0 lead on a goal from Pappa in the 9th minute. The Fire midfielder volleyed a solid left-footer over the top of the RSL defense and zipped the ball past the shoulder of Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
RSL barely had a chance to regroup from the early goal when team captain Kyle Beckerman was shown a red card and ejected from the match in the 11th minute. Beckerman earned the ejection after a hard foul on Daniel Paladini and will also sit out his team's next match against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.
Salt Lake attacked furiously through the remainder of the first half, trying to erase the one-goal advantage. It nearly happened when Alvaro Saborio slipped behind Chicago's backline in the 28th minute and latched onto a through ball fed to him from Andy Williams. Saborio had an open shot, but he sent the ball wide of the left post to keep RSL scoreless.
No other potential goal materialized for Salt Lake before halftime. RSL was held without a shot on goal during the first half.
Pappa struck again in the 36th minute to make it 2-0 for the Fire. Pavel Pardo flicked it ahead to him on the right side of the penalty area and Pappa curled a shot inside the left post.
He finally completed his hat trick in the 75th minute when he put an unassisted goal inside the left post to give the Fire a 3-0 advantage.