The 2007 MLS Playoffs got underway at Toyota Park in Chicago between the Chicago Fire and D.C. United.
The Chicago Fire (10-10-10) opened their two-game aggregate series against D.C. United (16-7-7) with a 1-0 win by way of a 14th minute Chris Rolfe goal.
Rolfe scored the game's only goal simply by being in the right place at the right time. Rolfe was the beneficiary of a defensive miscue by D.C. United's back line—after two United defenders couldn't successfully settle a long ball, Rolfe netted his first career playoff goal from around 15 yards out.
United Goalkeeper Troy Perkins seemed quite tentative in the first half, struggling with a few of Chicago's early opportunities. However, Perkins shook off his nerves in the second half—coming up with big saves to keep D.C. United in the game.
In the other net, Chicago goalkeeper Matt Pickens needed only two saves to complete his clean sheet.
Both squads had two players pick up yellow cards—Chicago's Diego Gutierrez and C.J. Brown, and D.C.'s Brian Carroll and Jaime Moreno.
With the win, the Fire now hold a slight advantage over D.C. heading into the second and final leg of their two-game aggregate series. Rather than basing the series on wins and losses, in an aggregate series, teams advance based on the total number of goals scored.
Instead of looking at the series as a regular two-game series, imagine one game that lasts 180 minutes, instead of the usual 90 minutes. Using that analogy, the Fire now hold a 1-0 lead at halftime.
The second "half" will be played on November 1st, at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.