Chicago Fire Soccer Club Wins 3-2, Moves Within Three Points of Playoff Spot
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (Aug. 10, 2019) - Moving within three points of a playoff position, the Chicago Fire (7-10-9, 30 points) received a late game-winning goal from defender Bastian Schweinsteiger to beat Montreal Impact (10-13-3, 33 points) 3-2 on Saturday night at SeatGeek Stadium. With the victory, the Fire improved its home record to 6-2-6 and extended its unbeaten run to three games (2-0-1) in league play.
The Men in Red opened the match by racing out to a two goal lead within the first 20 minutes, receiving goals from midfielder Dax McCarty and forward Nemanja Nikoli? early in the first half.
The Fire took the lead in the eighth minute when McCarty scored his first career regular season goal for the Fire. The goal occurred after midfielder Nicolás Gaitán struck a deep, out-swinging corner kick to midfielder Brandt Bronico, who headed the ball to defender Bastian Schweinsteiger. Recovering the ball near the touchline, Schweinsteiger played a well-weighted pass to the center of the 18-yard box for McCarty, who confidently placed a first-time effort into the bottom corner (WATCH).
Just over 10 minutes later, the Fire doubled its lead when Nikoli? scored for a second straight match to notch his eighth goal of the season. The striker found his goal after defender Francisco Calvo intercepted a pass in the middle of the park, before playing a decisive ball to midfielder Aleksandar Katai. After taking a touch in stride, Katai then unselfishly played the ball across the 18-yard box for Nikoli?, who tapped the ball into goal from close range in the 19th minute (WATCH).
Montreal managed to pull a goal back against the run of play in the 34th minute when goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm brought down midfielder Saphir Taïder inside the 18-yard box, resulting in a penalty kick for the visitors. From the spot, Taïder buried his shot down the middle.
After controlling much of the possession to start the second half, the Fire created another opportunity in the 62nd minute. Receiving a pass on the right side of the field, Gaitán brought the ball inside on his left foot and blasted an attempt that went just high of the target. Ten minutes later, the Fire had another look on goal when midfielder Przemys?aw Frankowski found Brandt Bronico, whose shot from the edge of the 18-yard box forced a diving save from goalkeeper Evan Bush.
Montreal evened the score in the 76th minute when a cross from defender Jorge Corrales - recently traded from the Fire to the Impact - made its way through traffic and found defender Bacary Sagna, who headed in the equalizer.
The Fire eventually found the go-ahead goal in the 88th minute when midfielder Djordje Mihailovi? clipped a perfectly placed corner kick to Schweinsteiger, who battled for position and whipped his header into the far corner to notch his first goal of the season (WATCH). With the late goal, Schweinsteiger was named the Heineken Man of the Match.
Looking ahead, the Fire will face a quick turnaround in league play when the team travels to face the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Wednesday, Aug. 14. Beginning at 10:00 p.m. CT, the match will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN Radio Chicago 1200 AM.
Chicago Fire 3:2 Montreal Impact
CHI - McCarty (1) (Schweinsteiger 3) 8'
CHI - Nikoli? (8) (Calvo 2, Katai 5) 19'
MTL - Taïder (9) (Penalty kick) 34'
MTL - Sagna (1) (Corrales 1) 76'
CHI - Schweinsteiger (1) (Mihailovi? 1) 88'
CHI - Kronholm (Caution) 32'
MTL - Diallo (Caution) 67'
CHI - McCarty (Caution) 74'
Chicago Fire: GK Kronholm, D Kappelhof, D Schweinsteiger, D Calvo, D Bornstein, M McCarty©, M Bronico, M Katai, M Gaitán (Mihailovi? 75'), M Sapong, F Nikoli? (Frankowski 56')
Subs not used: Sánchez, Lillard, Azira, Marcelo, Campos
Shots: 8 Shots on goal: 4 Fouls: 9 Offsides: 1 Corners: 3
Montreal Impact: GK Bush, D Camacho, D Sagna, D Diallo, D Corrales, M Taïder©, M Okwonkwo (Piatti 83'), M Piette, M Shome (Bojan 63'), M Choinière (Lappalainen 63'), F Urruti
Subs not used: Raitala, Diop, Lovitz, Krolicki
Shots: 12 Shots on goal: 3 Fouls: 8 Offsides: 1 Corners: 7
Referee: Christopher Penso
Assistant Referees: Mike Rottersman, Felisha Mariscal
Fourth Official: Allen Chapman
VAR: Sorin Stoica
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