Chicago_Toronto_082522-207

CHICAGO (Aug. 25, 2022) –  Chicago Fire FC II earned three home points with a 2-1 victory against Toronto FC II on Thursday night. Missael Rodríguez scored for the second time in as many consecutive matches, and for the fourth time in the last five, while Richard Fleming III added his second goal of the season. Toronto FC II midfielder Steffen Yeates added his third tally of the year. The victory marks the first time this season that the Fire win back-to-back matches in regulation.

The match started as a stalemate in the midfield, with the teams recording only a pair of shots in the opening 20 minutes. Play opened up as both sides got more comfortable on the pitch and soon, Toronto midfielder Julian Altobelli found himself with an easy look on goal in the 28th minute. But Chris Brady held his ground and made a diving stop to keep his clean sheet intact. 

The Fire would increasingly push upfield throughout the half and the high press paid dividends in the 38th minute. Josh Penn stepped up as the Toronto defense looked to play itself out of pressure, intercepting a pass and finding Sergio Oregel, Jr., who played quickly to Victor Bezerra for a first touch pass to Fleming III. The midfielder found plenty of space for his second goal of the season, which gave the Fire a 1-0 lead that would hold until the halftime break. 

Toronto sought to start the second half on a better note, and Alex Diaz came off the bench to get a clean look at goal. But Brady once again came through with a point blank save in the 47th minute to keep his shut out intact. The Fire took advantage of Brady’s play 10 minutes later, earning a corner kick that was taken by Sergio Oregel, Jr. Rodríguez lurked at the near post, and the ball found him for his sixth goal of the season. The assist marked the third in two consecutive matches for Oregel, Jr. off a corner kick and his team-leading sixth of the season.

The pressure intensified from Toronto and Themi Antonoglou broke away with only Brady to beat before being brought down from behind. Yeates stepped up to take the penalty, which Brady saved, but the Toronto forward scored on the spilled shot to cut the lead in half. The Fire defense withstood Toronto’s onslaught for 20 more minutes before the referee ended the match.

NEXT GAME: Chicago Fire FC II will face Columbus Crew 2 on Saturday, September 3 at Lower.com Field in downtown Columbus, Ohio. First kick is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. CT and the match stream will start five minutes prior on MLSNEXTPro.com.

Social: Twitter - @ChicagoFireFCII (Hashtags: #ChicagoFireII) | Instagram - @chicagofirefcii | Facebook

Box Score:
Chicago Fire FC II 2:1 Toronto FC II

Goals:
CHI - Fleming III (2) (V. Bezerra 2) 38’
CHI - M. Rodríguez (6) (Oregel, Jr. 6) 57’
TOR - Yeates (3) 71’

Discipline:
TOR - Cimermancic (Yellow Card) 49’
TOR - Pearlman (Yellow Card) 68’
TOR - Antonoglou (Yellow Card) 73’
TOR - Yeates (Yellow Card) 81’

Chicago Fire FC II: GK Brady; D Ritaccio ©, D Quintos, D Burks (Kelner, 45’), D J. Reynolds (Kidd, 75’); M Oregel, Jr., M Casas, Jr. (Flores, 45’), M Fleming III; F Penn (Monis, 65’), F V. Bezerra (M. Rodríguez, 45’), F Glasgow

Subs not used: GK Mišković; D; M Hernandez, M Kocs-Washburn, M Nevarez

Toronto FC II: GK Gavran; D Goulbourne, D Franklin, D Pearlman; M Altobelli (Mbongue, 45’), M Greenidge-Duncan (Diaz, 45’), M Coello, M Cimermancic, M Chung (Antonoglou, 60’); F Karajovanovic (Perruzza, 45’), F Carlini (Yeates, 60’)

Subs not used: GK Romano; D Curic, D Gordon; M Essoussi

Stats Summary: CHI / TOR
Shots: 7 / 14
Shots on Goal: 4 / 7
Passing Accuracy: 79% / 80.4%
Saves: 6 / 2
Corners:  5 / 7
Fouls:  12 / 9
Offsides:  2 / 2
Possession: 48.1% / 51.9%

Referee: Youssef Elmessoussi
Assistant Ref 1: Jake Brochu
Assistant Ref 2: Jacob Little
4th Official: Calin Radosav