Cincinnati, Ohio (Oct. 20, 2021) - Chicago Fire FC (8-16-7, 31 points) scored twice in each half to defeat FC Cincinnati (4-18-8, 20 points) 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller at TQL Stadium on Wednesday night. The Fire received goals from three different players, as forward Robert Beric scored a brace, midfielder Álvaro Medrán scored for a second straight game and midfielder Luka Stojanović notched his team-leading eighth goal of the season in the final minute of the game.
In the opening 45 minutes, the two teams combined for four goals in an end-to-end half. The Fire struck twice in a three-minute span courtesy of Berić, who has scored four times in the last four games. The Slovenian striker was in the right place at the right time for both goals, redirecting parries from goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń in the 14th and 17th minutes, respectively.
Responding to the early Fire goals, the home side found its way back into the game with two goals of their own. In the 28th minute, midfielder Luciano Acosta scored a tap-in for his seventh of the season, before forward Brandon Vazquez brought the game level in the 36th minute.
After a slower start to the second half, the match would ultimately end in dramatic fashion with three goals in the final 19 minutes, including two in second-half stoppage time. The Fire broke the 2-2 deadlock in the 71st minute when midfielder Álvaro Medrán buried a curling free kick from just outside the box. However, just over 20 minutes later, the home side would draw level and appear to rescue a point when defender Tyler Blackett slotted home a cross in the first minute of second half stoppage time.
With the clock winding down, Stojanović, who entered the game in the 86th minute, scored an instant Goal of the Year candidate in the third minute of second half stoppage time to win the game for the Fire. The Serbian midfielder reacted to a headed clearance from the defense and volleyed a thunderous strike from distance to tally his team-high eighth goal.
NEXT GAME: The Fire will return to league play in just three days for its final home match of the season against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, Oct. 23. Beginning at 7:00 p.m. CT (WGN-TV, CFFC Live, TUDN 1200 AM), Saturday’s match will serve as the Club’s annual Fan Appreciation Night, presented by 7UP. Tickets for the match are available for purchase here.
- Berić scored his seventh goal of the season. The Designated Player has scored 19 times across the last two seasons for the Fire.
- Berić’s brace marked his first multi-goal performance for the Club. His seven goals are the second-most on the team this season.
- Medrán scored for a second straight game. The finish marked his first goal from a direct free kick for the Fire.
- Stojanović scored his team-high eighth goal of the season. His finish in the 93rd minute was the second-latest goal this season for the Fire, following forward Chinonso Offor’s goal against Orlando City SC in the 96th minute on July 7.
- Defender Boris Sekulić made his first appearance since Sept. 22, playing 32 minutes as a second-half substitute. The defender missed the previous four matches due to a back injury.
- With the 4-3 win, the Fire have lost just once in its last five matches (2-1-2).
FC Cincinnati 3:4 Chicago Fire FC
CHI - Berić (6) 14’
CHI - Berić (7) (Aliseda 2) 17’
FCC - Acosta (7) (Vasquez 3, Bailey 1) 28’
FCC - Vasquez (2) (Matarrita 4) 36’
CHI - Medrán (3) 71’
FCC - Blackett (1) (Cameron 3) 90+1’
CHI - Stojanović (8) 90+3’
FCC - Bailey (Yellow Card) 30’
CHI - Kappelhof (Yellow Card) 45+1’
FCC - Gyau (Yellow Card) 48’
CHI - F. Navarro (Yellow Card) 68’
CHI - G. Slonina (Yellow Card) 79’
FCC - Cameron (Yellow Card) 80’
Chicago Fire FC: GK G. Slonina, D M. Navarro, D Kappelhof (Giménez, 63’), D Bornstein ©, D Espinoza (Sekulić, 58’), M F. Navarro, M Pineda, M Medrán (Stojanović, 86’), F Herbers (Gutiérrez, 46’), F Berić (F Offor, 64’), F Aliseda
Subs not used: GK Shuttleworth, D Omsberg, M Casas Jr., M Collier, M Monis
FC Cincinnati: GK Tyton, D Castillo (Barreal, 53’), D Blackett, D Cameron, D Bailey (Gyau, 45’), D Matarrita, M Medunjanin (Mokotjo, 62’), M Cruz (Scott, 78’), M Acosta ©, F Brenner, F Vasquez (Harris, 77’)
Subs not used: GK Vermeer, D Hagguland, M Stanko, F Atanga
Stats Summary: FCC / CHI
Shots: 19 / 16
Shots on Goal: 6 / 11
Passing Accuracy: 83.3% / 83.5%
Saves: 7 / 3
Corners: 5 / 7
Fouls: 15 / 12
Offsides: 3 / 0
Possession: 41.1% / 58.9%
Referee: Jon Freemon
Assistant Referees: Chantal Boudreau, CJ Morgante
Fourth Official: Luis Arroyo
VAR: Alan Kelly