Chicago Fire Soccer Club Falls 2-1 to FC Cincinnati
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - The Chicago Fire Soccer Club (5-9-7, 22 points) fell 2-1 to FC Cincinnati (5-13-2, 17 points) at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday night. The result marked the Fire's first loss at home since March 16, ending an eight-game home unbeaten streak. The Fire's goal was scored by midfielder Nicolás Gaitán during stoppage time in the first half.
FC Cincinnati scored in the first minute of the match when a deflected cross into the six-yard box fell to midfielder Allan Cruz, who was able to volley the ball into the back of the net.
In the 25th minute, the Fire had a strong chance to level the score when forward CJ Sapong was brought down just inside the 18-yard box, earning a penalty kick for the home side. Gaitán stepped up to the spot and sent goalkeeper Spencer Richey the wrong way, but his shot hit the post.
Gaitán's attempt was the final play before a 59 minute weather delay, halting the match in the 26th minute.
Six minutes after play had resumed, the Fire created another scoring chance when midfielder Aleksandar Katai cut the ball back inside on his left foot sending his marker sliding out of play. After picking his head up to find a teammate, Katai drove a cross into the box for Sapong, who directed his header just over the target.
Cincinnati attempted to respond in the 38th minute when Cruz slipped in behind the backline and clipped the ball past Fire goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm. However, defender Francisco Calvo read the play and raced back to the goal to calmly clear the ball away (WATCH). The play marked the second straight match that Calvo has produced a goal-saving clearance. To view his defensive play against Sporting Kansas City on July 6, click HERE.
The Men in Red eventually found the equalizer in the fourth minute of first half stoppage time after earning another penalty kick for a handball in the box. After having his initial attempt saved by Richey, Gaitán slotted home the rebound (WATCH). The Fire concluded the first half with a 10-4 advantage in total shots and by dominating possession (63%-37%).
After adding five more shots early in the second half, the Fire created another close chance to score in the 77th minute when Calvo connected with Gaitán's corner kick at the near post, flicking the ball on target, forcing Richey to make a sprawling save (WATCH).
FCC scored the game's deciding goal in the 83rd minute when forward Fanendo Adi's left-footed strike from 18 yards out was placed just inside the far post.
Looking ahead, the Fire will face a quick turnaround in league play. The Men in Red are scheduled to return to SeatGeek Stadium on Wednesday, July 17 to take on Columbus Crew SC. Scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. CT, the match will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and transmitted locally in Spanish on Univision Radio WRTO AM 1200.
Chicago Fire 1:2 FC Cincinnati
FCC - Cruz (3) 1'
CHI - Gaitán (4) 45'+4'
FCC - Adi (1) (Manneh) (3) 83'
FCC - Richey (Caution) 48'
FCC - Ledesma (Caution) 52'
FCC - Bertone (Caution) 59'
CHI - Corrales (Caution) 73'
CHI - Mihailoviæ (Caution) 78'
Chicago Fire: GK Kronholm, D Bronico, D Kappelhof, D Calvo, D Corrales, M McCarty©, M Frankowski (Nikoliæ 75'), M Herbers (Mihailoviæ 65'), M Gaitán, M Katai (Moreno 90'+1'), F Sapong
Subs not used: Sánchez, Marcelo, Lillard, Campos
Shots: 20 Shots on goal: 7 Fouls: 16 Offsides: 0 Corners: 13
FC Cincinnati: GK Richey, D Powell, D Hoyte, D Waston, D Deplagne, M Stanko, M Cruz (Hagglund 90'+3'), M Bertone, M Manneh (Ulloa 84'), M Ledesma, F Dally (Adi 67')
Subs not used: Tyton, Gdula, Bone, McCabe
Shots: 6 Shots on goal: 3 Fouls: 14 Offsides: 1 Corners: 3
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: CJ Morgante, TJ Zablocki
Fourth Official: Lukasz Szpala
VAR: Farhad Dadkho
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