Overtime is the right time this time

Special to the Tribune

Overtime has never been the Fire's strong suit.

But defender David Vaudreuil scored a game-winning goal in the 95th minute Sunday, giving the Fire a 2-1 Major League Soccer victory over Colorado in Naperville.

It was just the second overtime victory for a team now 2-4-13 in overtime games since 1998.

Moreover, the win snapped a five-game losing streak and lifted the Fire (6-7-2) from fifth place to second in the MLS East with 17 points, just three behind the first-place MetroStars.

"There was a lot of relief from the guys," said Fire forward Josh Wolff, who tied the game with his second-half goal in only his second MLS game since returning from U.S. World Cup team duty. "It's been a tough run the last two or three weeks. ... To come back from one goal down will give us confidence moving forward."

Vaudreuil knocked in the game-winner as he pulled in a feed from midfielder Dema Kovalenko and dragged a short shot past Rapids goalie David Kramer.

"It doesn't seem like we find an easy way to do things," said Fire coach Bob Bradley. "[But] today it was all about a bunch of guys who have a lot of heart ... and are ready to push hard in the [season's] second half."

Wolff scored his second goal of the season in the game's 63rd minute. He slipped to the ground after his initial shot on Kramer was deflected, but he quickly scrambled to his feet and headed in the rebound.

The Fire missed on two early opportunities, including Billy Walsh's header in front of the net that ricocheted off the top of the crossbar in the 10th minute.

Colorado (7-8-1) then jumped ahead two minutes later as midfielder Chris Henderson scored his team-high seventh goal of the season on a 12-foot shot to the far left corner of the goal.

Sunday's game also marked the return of forward DaMarcus Beasley, who sat out two weeks with a bruised knee after his return from U.S. World Cup action. He started and played more than 70 minutes and had a promising breakaway early in the second half that Kramer broke up in a collision.

The Fire's next game is at home at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday against Mexico's Morelia in the second leg of the FC Champions Cup quarterfinals.

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