Fire Advance to Eastern Semis

Cuauhtemoc Blanco's late goal gave the Fire a 2-0 win over the Revolution and allowed them to play again, next week in the Eastern Final against Real Salt Lake.

John Thorrington, making his first start in months, scored in the first half after some fancy footwork from midfielder, Marco Pappa. Pappa was a terror on the right side for the Fire all night, having numerous opportunities and sailing a few shots just past the goal.

The Fire came in knowing they had to win by two goals to advance, after dropping a 2-1 decision to New England last week.

The Men in Red dominated play in the early minutes, but could not hit the net until Thorrington's goal in the 35th minute.

The Fire continued to pressure the Revs at the start of the second half, and then lost Brian McBride in the 56th minute. McBride went down with an apparent leg injury after a challenge in the box minutes earlier. Patrick Nyarko replaced McBride and was a constant threat up top from the minute he came in.

Nyarko put constant pressure on the ball in the attacking area, and it eventually paid off. His steal of the ball in the far corner led to a move to the box where he found Blanco at the penalty spot. Blanco made a move around defender, Jay Heaps and put it in the net, before running to the stands to celebrate with the fans.

The Fire are now just one win away from MLS Cup '09, as they host Real Salt Lake in the Eastern finals next Saturday at 7:00 at Toyota Park.

MLS Cup '09 takes place Sunday evening, November 22 at Seattle's Quest Field.