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Philadelphia coach rips Fire after losing 2-1
By Orrin Schwarz | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 6/6/2010 6:02 PM

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Philadelphia Union coach Peter Nowak ripped into the team he once captained after losing to the Chicago Fire 2-1 Friday night at Toyota Park.

"We were surprised from the minute that the game started that the team who is supposed to play attractive soccer, attacking soccer at home, played with 10 guys in the back, behind the ball," Nowak said of first-year coach Carlos de los Cobos' Fire, which played again in a 4-1-4-1 formation. "We expected a little bit different playing against an expansion team. It was difficult to break them down.

"I believe that in our league this kind of stuff is not supposed to happen. ... We have to work on how to break teams down who just rely on some individual's one maybe lucky shot."

The Fire opened the scoring in the 14th minute when speedy winger Patrick Nyarko attacked along the endline from the left, finally slipping a pass to Baggio Husidic, who one-timed it into the net. It was Nyarko's sixth assist of the season.

The Fire (3-3-4, 13 points) went up 2-0 in the 74th minute when the Union (2-6-1, 7 points) failed to clear a rebound from Justin Mapp's shot. Marco Pappa scored from 10 yards out on what Nowak called a "lucky goal."

"I believe that the passion and the way the Fire played was not even close to what we used to be like," said Nowak, who played in Chicago on the 1998 MLS Cup champion team under current U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley.

Philadelphia got a goal back in second-half extra time when substitute Danny Mwanga scored, but it couldn't draw even. The teams finished even in shots at 11, but the Fire led in shots on goal 6-2.

Regardless of Nowak's comments, the Fire was happy to get its first win since April 24.

"(It was) huge, especially since Philly was right behind us," Husidic said.