Minnesota had their first chance in the 5th minute of play. Leonel Saint-Preux was like the wind cruising down the left side of the field when he saw an open Rod Dyachenko in the box. Saint-Preux sent a pass across the net looking for a one-timer from Dyachenko but the ball skimmed just under his leg and the game remained scoreless.
In the 23rd minute Saint-Preux scored the opening goal of the game. He was the recipient of a cross from Dyachenko but the pass was just too far to field it cleanly. He had to slide to get his foot on the ball and the ball was not the only thing to get past Ryan Schwarz. Due to the slick conditions, Saint-Preux also slid into the net.
Andres Arango fed Brian Cvilikas for the second goal of the game in the 39th minute. Arango booted a pass that skipped past the defenders but connected with the foot of an airborne Cvilikas. Despite of Schwarz’s effort the ball sailed right by him and the Thunder extend their lead by two.
In the 55th minute, Minnesota was really putting the screws on Chicago. Schwarz was being bombarded with trys from Minnesota and the Fire had much trouble clearing the ball as the Thunder had three corner kicks in the course of two minutes. No goals were scored in this series of events but the wind continued to leave the Chicago’s sails.
The Fire had a close chance in the 59th minute but their advance was negated by an offsides call. Andre Akpan was positioned a little too well when he took possession of a pass just behind the defenders. Although the whistle was blown he still took a shot but Platter still refused to let a ball in his net.
Melvin Tarley wanted to throw his hat into the “goal ring” in the 75th minute. He took possession of the ball at the top of the center of the box when fired a shot towards Schwarz. The Fire goalkeeper dove to block the shot but his efforts were unnecessary because the ball missed wide left.
Tarley managed to get his first goal in the 78th minute. Andrew Peterson was the key player in this goal. Usually staying back as a defender, Peterson gave perfect give and go passes and amazing touches that opened up a play for Tarley. Peterson’s run ended by flicking the ball to Tarley who lasered a low shot to the far side of the net.
Tarley earned himself a second goal in the 82nd minute. Dyachenko assisted in this goal by feeding Tarley a pass that he was able to redirect with his forehead. It was a picture perfect play that no keeper can defend and this put Minnesota up by four.
At the end of the game, Minnesota silenced Fire’s tournament hopes with the commanding win of 4-0.
“We had a good performance today,” said Thunder defender/midfielder Rich Costanzo. “The guys really connected and played well. It was an overall good game.”
Minnesota travels to Portland to take on the Timbers Friday, June 19 at 10:00 pm. The game can be watched for free at www.usllive.com. Minnesota’s US Open Cup run hibernates for two weeks but they are back to tournament play on Tuesday, June 30 at 7:05 p.m. when they host the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer.
Tickets will be available for the game against Kansas City starting June 17 at noon. They will start as low as $10. For individual tickets, please visit www.ticketmaster.com or for group tickets call the Thunder office at 651.294.4664.
Minnesota: Platter, Arango (Kallman, 45), Clements, Greenfield, Peterson, Olum, Bass, Sanchez, Dyachenko, Cvilikas (Tarley, 63), Saint-Preux
Chicago: Schwarz, Sinovic, Ream, Ruthven, Rice, Morrow (Cutshaw, 53), Braun, Campbell (Garcia, 67), Millien, Adlard (Gehrig, 82), Akpan
MIN: Saint-Preux, 23
MIN: Cvilikas, 39
MIN: Tarley, 78
MIN: Tarley, 82
Minnesota: Shots 14, Fouls 7, Offsides 1, Corners 7
Chicago: Shots 6, Fouls 2, Offsides 4, Corners 1
Platter (Minnesota): Shots faced 7, Saves 7, Goals Allowed 0
Schwarz (Chicago): Shots faced 8, Saves 4, Goals Allowed 4
MIN: Clements, 41
MIN: Dyachenko, 68
CHI: Adlard, 79