CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 6, 2022) – Chicago Fire FC (8-10-6, 30 points) earned their second-consecutive victory on the road, defeating Charlotte FC 3-2 (9-13-2, 29 points) at Bank of America Stadium on Saturday night. A brace by Polish forward Kacper Przybyłko led the way as the victory propelled the team above the playoff line and stretched the team’s unbeaten run to five matches.
Charlotte started the match on the front foot, scoring in the first minute from winger Yordy Reyna’s header. However, the Fire would respond with two goals in three minutes midway through the second half. Przybyłko provided the leveler in the 21st minute before defensive midfielder Federico Navarro added a second finish in the 24th minute.
Przybyłko’s first goal occurred when Fire Designated Player Gaston Giménez stepped up to a ball outside the box and fired a shot that goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina dove to save. The rebound bounced into the six-yard box and Przybyłko pounced on the ball, rifling a left-footed shot into the top netting.
Chicago’s second goal was also the second of the season for Navarro. Winger Jairo Torres lobbed a pass across the top of the box for Designated Player Xherdan Shaqiri, who brought it down with his head right into the path of Navarro. The Argentine midfielder didn’t hesitate, blasting a first-time, left-footed shot past Kahlina.
With Charlotte managing to equalize in the final minute of the first half, the Fire entered the second 45 needing to find another goal to keep the team’s playoff hopes alive. Seven minutes into the second half, the team would find a third when Shaqiri clipped a no-look pass in behind for Przybyłko. Running onto Shaqiri’s pass, Przybyłko calmly cut the ball back onto his left foot, before slotting it into the bottom corner to secure all three points for Chicago.
NEXT MATCH: Chicago will travel to face Eastern Conference rival Philadelphia Union on Saturday, Aug. 13. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT, the match will be televised on WGN-TV and CF97 Live, and transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN 1200 AM.
- The victory marks the first time the Fire has won four games during a five-game unbeaten run since June 10 - July 5, 2017.
- The Fire is unbeaten in five straight matches in League play, accumulating 13 points with four wins and one draw since July 13.
- Chicago currently sits above the playoff line in seventh place with 30 points through 24 matches played.
- With a brace in tonight’s match, Przybyłko now leads the team in goals scored with five, just one ahead of Shaqiri.
- With two assists in tonight’s match, Shaqiri has tallied three assists in the last three matches. He leads the team with 10 assists on the season.
- Federico Navarro notched his second goal of the season and his third career MLS goal for the Fire.
- Slonina is currently tied for first place in the league with 2,160 minutes played.
- Jonathan Bornstein returned to the starting XI for the first time since July 16 after previously being placed in health and safety protocols. Tonight's start marks the 200th MLS regular season appearance of Bornstein's career, dating back to his MLS Rookie of the Year campaign as a Chivas USA player in 2006.
Charlotte FC 2:3 Chicago Fire FC
CLT - Reyna (3) (Lindsey 2) 1’
CHI - Przybyłko (4) 21’
CHI - F. Navarro (2) (Shaqiri 9) 24’
CLT - Swiderski (7) 45’
CHI - Przybyłko (5) (Shaqiri 10) 52’
CLT - Gaines (Yellow Card) 68’
CHI - Przybyłko (Yellow Card) 68’
CHI - Sekulić (Yellow Card) 71’
CLT - Jones (Yellow Card) 75’
CHI - Mueller (Yellow Card) 78’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Slonina, D Sekulić, D Bornstein, D M. Navarro, D. Pineda, M Torres (M Gutiérrez, 68’), M Mueller (Reynolds II, 87’), M Shaqiri © (Durán, 90+3’), M Giménez (M Herbers, 68’), M F. Navarro, F Przybyłko
Subs not used: GK Richey, D Burks, F Bezerra, M Casas Jr.
Charlotte FC: GK Kahlina, D Corujo (Mora, 31’), D Walkes, D Fuchs ©, D Lindsey (F Rios, 76), M Bronico, M Bender (M Alcívar, 58’), M Reyna (Shinyashiki, 58’), M McNeill (Jones, 45’), F Swiderski, F Gaines
Subs not used: GK Marks, D Sobocinski, F Jozwiak, D Afful
Stats Summary: CLT / CHI
Shots: 12 / 14
Shots on Goal: 5 / 8
Saves: 5 / 3
Passing Accuracy: 86.5% / 75.5%
Corners: 3 / 3
Fouls: 20 / 19
Offsides: 0 / 1
Possession: 60.2% / 39.8%
Referee: Nima Saghafi
Assistant Referees: Andrew Bigelow, Gianni Facchini
Fourth Official: Luis Arroyo
VAR: Jair Marrufo, Fabio Tovar