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Razov’s pair lifts Chicago past tired Tampa Bay 5-1.

CHICAGO (Friday April 28, 2000) – Ante Razov provided two goals and an assist while Lubos Kubik added a goal and an assist as the Chicago Fire spotted Tampa Bay and early lead, then blasted the Mutiny 5-1 tonight before 9,090 at Soldier Field.

"We came into this game knowing that Tampa Bay was coming in with the idea that they are playing their second game in three days," Chicago coach Bob Bradley said. "They were only playing with one forward and that gave us more freedom on the field. We felt that the second half was important. We were not sharp during the first half and we just knew we had to play smart during the second half. We knew that Tampa would be a tired team tonight."

Tampa Bay defender Steve Trittschuh tallied his first points of the 2000 season in the 15th minute of play to put the Mutiny up 1-0. Midfielder Steve Ralston found Trittschuh inside the Fire box off of a corner kick from the right side and Trittschuh nodded the ball past goalkeeper Chris Snitko, who was starting in place of an injured Zach Thornton. The goal was the 14th of Trittschuh's career.

The Fire (3-3-1, 10 points) needed 11 minutes to erase Tampa Bay's lead with a fast-paced give-and-go goal. Midfielder Peter Nowak, streaking down the middle of the field, passed off to teammate Jesse Marsch on the right flank. Marsch threaded the ball back to Nowak at the edge of the Mutiny penalty area. Nowak's shot beat Tampa keeper Scott Garlick low to the left post, knotting the game at 1-1.

After dominating much of the first half, the Fire exploded early in the second, scoring in the opening minutes of play following a restart. Rookie John Wolyniec put home a Lubos Kubik pass to give the Fire the 2-1 lead. Minutes later, Razov added an insurance goal in the 53rd minute by finishing a Diego Gutierrez cross directly in front of the net.

Razov added an assist in the 71st minute, passing back to Kubik from inside the penalty area. Kubik's blast crossed underneath the crossbar to extend the Fire's lead to 4-1. It was his first tally of 2000.

Razov capped off the night with an 86th minute goal, fed by Evan Whitfield and Nowak.

The Mutiny (4-4, 12 points) has not fared well on the road in the 2000 season, posting a 0-4 record away from Raymond James Stadium.

Following Wednesday's offensive display in a 4-0 romp over the San Jose Earthquakes in which the Mutiny unleashed a club record 14 shots on goal, Tampa Bay was only able to generate three shots on frame tonight. The Fire held a 24-5 total shots advantage.

"I only have one thought on the game and it's obvious: the people who put together the schedule have not been in the boots in a long time," Mutiny coach Tim Hankinson said. "Playing games this close together puts the players at great risk. The schedule prevented this from being a competitive match and an unfair advantage."

Chicago Fire 5, Tampa Bay Mutiny 1

Lineups: Chicago - Chris Snitko, Lubos Kubik, C.J. Brown, Carlos Bocanegra (Andrew Lewis 79), Mike Sorber, Jesse Marsch, Diego Gutierrez, Dema Kovalenko (Evan Whitfield 68), Peter Nowak, Hristo Stoitchkov (John Wolyniec 37), Ante Razov. Tampa Bay - Scott Garlick, Kalin Bankov, Steve Trittschuh (Chris Houser 48+), Joseph Addo, Ritchie Kotschau, Josh Keller, Steve Ralston, Eric Quill, Manuel Lagos (Dominic Kinnear 58), Carlos Valderrama, Raul Diaz Arce (Mamadou Diallo 58)

Tampa Bay - Trittschuh (Ralston) 15.
Chicago - Nowak (Marsch) 26.
Chicago - Wolyniec (Kubik, Sorber) 47.
Chicago - Razov (Gutierrez, Bocanegra) 53.
Chicago - Kubik (Razov) 71.
Chicago - Razov (Whitfield, Nowak) 86.

Totals shots: Chicago 25 (Kubik 6, Razov 6), Tampa Bay 5 (five players with 1). Shots on goal: Chicago 11 (Razov 3), Tampa Bay 3 (Ralston 1, Trittschuh 1, Diaz Arce 1). Saves: Chicago - Snitko 2; Tampa Bay - Garlick 6. Fouls: Chicago 8 (Kubik 2, Marsch 2), Tampa Bay 8 (Keller 2, Quill 2, Diaz Arce 2). Offside: Chicago 5, Tampa Bay 4. Corner kicks: Chicago 7, Tampa Bay 4. Yellow card cautions: Chicago - Brown 85; Tampa Bay - Keller 30, Quill 55. Possesion percentage: Chicago 53, Tampa Bay 47.

Referee: Gerry Corrie. Referee's assistants: Nathan Clement, Kari Seitz.; Attendance: 9,090 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Weather: Partly cloudy, 55 degrees, slight breeze, cold.

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