CHICAGO_ (July 24, 2021)_ - Despite matching a Club record for shots in a single game (31), Chicago Fire FC (3-9-3, 12 points) fell 2-1 to Toronto FC (3-8-4, 13 points) at Soldier Field on Saturday night. The result snapped a three-game home unbeaten streak for the Fire.
Following an early goal from TFC midfielder Yeferson Soteldo in the second minute, the Fire proceeded to control the match. Chicago had 15 shots in the first half with two of those chances coming in the 10th minute as the team produced back-to-back opportunities to score from close range via forward Ignacio Aliseda and midfielder Przemysław Frankowski.
Aliseda, who was very active in the final third, had another golden opportunity to secure his fourth goal of the season in the 31st minute. The Argentinian was the first to react to defender Miguel Navarro’s deflected cross inside the 18-yard box, sliding to redirect an attempt that was saved by goalkeeper Alex Bono. Aliseda led all players with five shots, including four on target, in the first half.
Continuing to apply pressure on the Toronto backline, the Fire came close to scoring yet again in the 35th minute when forward Robert Berić got on the end of Frankowski’s cross, hitting a first-time effort to force Bono into another difficult save.
After sitting back to sustain the continued pressure from the Fire in the second half, Toronto managed to score a second against the run of play when midfielder Nick DeLeon found the back of the net in the 76th minute.
The Fire immediately responded to DeLeon’s goal, scoring just one minute later. Chicago midfielder Álvaro Medrán provided the goal by carefully slotting home a bouncing ball in the box to notch his first of the season.
Despite adding a season-high 16 shots in the second half, including seven shots on target, the Fire were unable to find the equalizer late in the match. TFC goalkeeper Alex Bono made 13 saves in the match. The 2-1 result marks the Club’s first home loss since a 1-0 defeat to FC Cincinnati on June 23.
NEXT GAME: Chicago Fire FC will travel to Philadelphia to face the Union on Sunday, Aug. 1 at Subaru Park. The match will begin at 5:00 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on TUDN, UniMas, Twitter (English audio) and TUDN 1200 AM.
- The Fire’s 31 shots tied a Club record for the most shots in a single game. Twenty-three of the team’s 31 shots came from inside the 18-yard box. The last time the Fire had 31 shots in a game was on May 31, 2000 against the Colorado Rapids.
- Chicago’s 16 shots in the second half marked the most shots in a single half for the Fire this season.
- The Fire’s 14 shots on target is the second-most in a single game in Club history, one shy of the team record (15).
- Medrán notched his first goal of the season for the Fire. Overall, the midfielder has three career goals for the Club.
- With one save in tonight’s match, Shuttleworth leads the Eastern Conference with 56 saves made this season. Overall, Shuttleworth’s 56 saves are the third-most in the league behind Austin FC’s Brad Stuver (60) and LA Galaxy’s Jonathan Bond (60).
- Aliseda led all players in shots (six) and shots on target (five) in tonight’s match. He was named Heineken Man of the Match for his performance.
- Tonight’s match marked the first between the Fire and Toronto FC since a 2-2 draw at SeatGeek Stadium on Sept. 29, 2019.
- The Fire were without team captain Francisco Calvo, who is representing Costa Rica in the Concacaf Gold Cup.
- Head coach Raphael Wicky missed tonight’s match due to a health matter concerning a close family member. Assistant coach Frank Klopas led the team for a third straight match in his absence.
- As part of the Club’s second-annual RAISE for P.L.A.Y.S. fundraiser, fans were able to directly support the Fire Foundation’s award-winning P.L.A.Y.S. Program by purchasing 50/50 raffle tickets up until the 80th minute. The 50/50 raffle featured a guaranteed jackpot of $20,000, which is the largest in Club history.
Chicago Fire FC 1:2 Toronto FC
TOR - Soteldo (2) (Endoh 1) 2’
TOR - DeLeon (1) (Mullins 3, Soteldo 3) 76’
CHI - Medrán (1) (Herbers 2) 77’
CHI - Pineda (Yellow Card) 70’
TOR - Singh (Yellow Card) 81’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Shuttleworth, D Omsberg (Herbers 58’), D Pineda, D Bornstein ©, M Sekulić (Stojanović 82’), M Navarro (Espinoza 69’), M Frankowski, M Medrán, M Giménez, F Berić (Offor 58’), F Aliseda
Subs not used: GK G. Slonina, M Gutiérrez, M Casas Jr., M Ivanov, F Collier
Toronto FC: GK Bono, D Singh (M Okello 81’), D Mavinga, D Gonzalez, M Bradley ©, M Delgado, M Pozuelo, M Soteldo, M Endoh (Mullins 46’), M Priso (DeLeon 63), F Dwyer (Altidore 46’)
Subs not used: GK Westberg, D Dunn, D Morrow, F Nelson, F Perruzza
Stats Summary: CHI / TOR
Shots: 31 / 8
Shots on Goal: 14 / 3
Passing Accuracy: 87.0% / 81.3%
Saves: 1 / 13
Corners: 13 / 1
Fouls: 6 / 8
Offsides: 4 / 4
Possession: 56.6% / 43.4%