Blanco's first MLS goal carries Fire to 2-0 victory over Real Salt

Blanco's first MLS goal carries Fire to 2-0 victory over Real Salt



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Cuauhtemoc Blanco scored his first Major League Soccer goal in the 43rd minute, and the Chicago Fire beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 Saturday night.

Matt Pickens made four saves to earn his third straight shutout, and seventh of the season. Pickens also didn't allow a goal in Chicago's previous meeting with RSL -- a scoreless tie in May.

Blanco, who joined the Fire (6-8-5) last month from Mexico's Club America, took a pass from Ivan Guerrero just outside the penalty box and half-volleyed the ball into the upper right corner of the goal.

Paulo Wanchope headed in a corner kick from Blanco in the 78th minute to make it 2-0. That marked Wanchope's first goal and Blanco's second assist of the season. The Fire are unbeaten in three games and in five of seven. Real Salt Lake (2-10-6) failed in trying to win consecutive games for the first time this season.

Pickens got help from defender Bakary Soumare, who blocked two consecutive shots by RSL's Fabian Espindola in the 76th minute while Pickens was away from the goal.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-08-18-07 2113MDT

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