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CHICAGO (Sept. 17, 2022) – Chicago Fire FC (9-15-8, 35 points) fell 3-2 to Charlotte FC (12-17-2, 38 points) on Saturday night at Soldier Field in the second all-time meeting between the two sides. With the defeat, the Fire were officially eliminated from postseason contention.

The Fire opened the scoring just two minutes and 35 seconds into the match with an unassisted goal from midfielder Mauricio Pineda, his first of the season and fastest goal for Chicago so far this year. The scoring play began with an initial shot by midfielder Brian Gutiérrez, whose attempt was cleared by Charlotte striker Karol Swiderski, straight to the feet of Pineda at the top of the box. The 24-year-old Homegrown midfielder ripped a left-footed shot through a crowded 18-yard-box and into the lower right-hand-corner of the net. 

The Fire doubled their lead in the 30th minute with a dominant build-up play, starting with a perfectly placed cross by Gutiérrez, onto the run of defender Boris Sekulić. Cutting it across the box, Sekulić laid the ball off to forward Jhon Durán, who turned and placed a driven shot into the back of the net, logging his sixth goal of the season. 

The visiting side would later split the Fire’s lead in half with a goal from Swiderski, assisted by Adilson Malanda, off a corner kick in the 68th minute before equalizing just eight minutes later with a goal by Nuno Santos, assisted by McKinze Gaines. In the 96th minute, Charlotte found the game-winning finish with an unassisted, close-range goal from Swiderski.

NEXT MATCH: Chicago will head into a FIFA international break this upcoming week, before returning to the field on Saturday, Oct. 1 against FC Cincinnati at 6:30 p.m. at TQL Stadium. The match will be televised live on WGN-TV and CF97 Live, and transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN 1200 AM. 

Notes:

  • Defender Kendall Burks made the first MLS start of his career. 
  • Midfielder Mauricio Pineda scored his first goal of the season, fifth of his career. 
  • Pineda scored after just two minutes and 35-seconds, the fastest goal for Chicago Fire this season. 
  • Forward Jhon Durán scored his sixth goal of the season and now sits just one goal behind Xherdan Shaqiri, who leads the team with seven goals. 
  • The Fire have stopped the opposition from scoring a first-half goal in 21 of their 32 games, only Philadelphia Union (26) and Minnesota United (22) have done this more often this season.

Box Score:
Chicago Fire FC 2:3 Charlotte FC

Goals:
CHI - Pineda (1) 3’
CHI - Durán (6) (Sekulić 3, Gutiérrez 5) 30’
CLT - Swiderski (9) 68’
CLT - Santos (1) (Gaines 3) 76’
CLT - Swiderski (10) 90+6’

Discipline:
CHI - Durán (Yellow Card) 39’
CLT - Bronico (Yellow Card) 39’
CLT - Swiderski (Yellow Card) 53’
CLT - Jones (Yellow Card) 54’
CLT - Gaines (Yellow Card) 79’
CHI - Bezerra (Yellow Card) 89’

Chicago Fire FC: GK Slonina, D Sekulić, D Czichos ©, D M. Navarro, D Burks, M F. Navarro, M Pineda, M Mueller, M Shaqiri (Reynolds II, 88’), M Gutiérrez (Ivanov, 79), F Durán (Bezerra, 72’)

Subs not used: GK Richey, D Bornstein, D Espinoza, M Oregel Jr., M Casas Jr., M Monis

Charlotte FC: GK Kahlina, D Walkes, D Byrne, D Malanda, D Afful, M Bronico (Alcívar, 62’), M Jones, F Swiderski ©, F Rios (Santos, 69’), F Shinyashiki (Gaines, 61’), F Vargas

Subs not used: GK Sisniega, D Sobocinski, F Jozwiak, M Bender, M Reyna, D Mora

Stats Summary: CHI / CLT
Shots: 14 / 14
Shots on Goal: 4 / 6
Saves: 3 / 2
Passing Accuracy: 79% / 83.4%
Corners: 4 / 4
Fouls: 23 / 13
Offsides: 1 / 4
Possession: 54.2% / 45.8%

Attendance: 21,450

Referee: Tori Penso
Assistant Referees: Adam Garner, Kevin Lock
Fourth Official: Chris Ruska
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic, Rene Parra