Carson, CA – The Chicago Fire left it late at The Home Depot Center on Friday as Marco Pappa scored deep into second-half stoppage time to earn the visitors a 2-1 victory over Chivas USA.
The result means that Chivas is still searching for its first point at home in 2012, posting an 0-5-0 record in Carson, California this season.
Pappa's late winner capped an already eventful match for the Fire, who fell behind but eventually got back on level terms through Austin Berry.
The rookie, who was making his MLS debut, conceded a penalty kick in the 22nd minute after getting tangled with Alejandro Moreno in the box. Juan Pablo Angel converted the ensuing kick to give Chivas the lead with his first goal of the MLS season.
But Berry was able to quickly make amends following a corner kick two minutes later. A failed clearance fell to Sebastian Grazzini at the top of the box. The midfielder danced around a defender and unlocked the defense to find Berry, who was able to poke a shot past Dan Kennedy to level the score.
Miller Bolanos nearly put the home side in front in the second half when he latched on to a through ball from Moreno in the 54th minute. Bolanos ripped a shot at Sean Johnson's near post, but the Fire 'keeper made a brilliant reaction save to turn the effort out for a corner.
Chicago answered with a superb scoring chance shortly after. Gonzalo Segares delivered a pinpoint cross to the center of the box in the 62nd minute and Grazzini lost his mark to send a powerful header on goal, but Kennedy was up to the task. The rebound fell to Dominic Oduro, but the Chicago striker was ruled offside when Grazzini's shot was taken.
The Fire went on to steal the win thanks to Pappa's late heroics. The midfielder collected a square ball on the counter from Frederico Puppo and fired a quick shot to the far post. The power on Pappa's effort prevented Kennedy from getting a hand to it as the goalkeeper was left helpless.
Chicago improves to 3-2-2 on the season and moves into fourth place in the Eastern Conference on 11 points. The club returns to action Wednesday when it hosts Real Salt Lake at Toyota Park.
Chivas (3-6-0) remains second from bottom in the Western Conference on the back of three straight losses. The Goats will look to get back on track on May 13 when they head to Buck Shaw Stadium to face the in-form San Jose Earthquakes.