TORONTO (April 28, 2017) - The Chicago Fire (2-3-2, 8 points) secured a dramatic road point at BMO Field against reigning MLS Cup champions Toronto FC (1-4-1, 4 points) on Saturday afternoon. Second half substitution Alan Gordon scored in the waning moments of stoppage time to level the score 2-2 and earn a share of the points in Canada.
Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger contributed a goal and an assist in the effort. His helper on Gordon’s equalizer was the German’s fourth assist in six games this season.
The home side opened scoring in the seventh minute. Sebastian Giovinco collected the ball running into the right side of the Fire 18 and played a low cross for a sliding Jonathan Osorio to finish and give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Toronto nearly doubled their lead in the 11th minute on a point-blank Giovinco finish, but Nicolas Hasler was ruled offside on the initial play-through by the Video Assistant Referee. They’d find their second in the 22nd minute via Victor Vazquez. A mishit long-range attempt from Michael Bradley fell to Vazquez inside the Fire 18, and the Spaniard lofted a ball over Fire goalkeeper Richard Sánchez into the net.
Nemanja Nikolic earned a penalty kick in the 36th minute after being clipped down in the box by Toronto defender Ashtone Morgan. After being initially waved off, Video Assistant Referee awarded the PK attempt that Bastian Schweinsteiger would step up to take. His low shot was stopped by Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono.
Bastian Schweinsteiger pulled a goal back for the Fire in the 69th minute, using his head to finish off a corner kick sequence. Second half substitution Diego Campos played a ball in from the corner that defender Kevin Ellis rose to match with his head, flicking it forward for Schweinsteiger to head home and make the score 2-1.
Head coach Veljko Paunovic brought on a trio of attacking subs as the second half progressed, subbing in Diego Campos, Jon Bakero, and Alan Gordon as his side pushed for an equalizer. A pair of dramatic near-finishes from Bakero and Nikolic went wanting for the visitors, but Gordon provided the spark in stoppage time. Schweinsteiger received the ball near the right touchline looking to play into a crowd of Fire attackers inside the Toronto 18. The German’s service landed at the feet of Gordon, who turned and fired the equalizer into the back of the net with the last touch of the match. The goal was Gordon’s first in a Fire shirt, and secured a share of the points in Canada.
The Fire return home next Saturday, May 5, for an Eastern Conference tilt with Atlanta United FC at Toyota Park (7:30 p.m. CT, ESPN+/Univision Deportes Chicago 1200AM).
Chicago Fire 2:2 Toronto FC
April 28, 2018 – BMO Field
TOR – Jonathan Osorio (Sebastian Giovinco, Victor Vazquez) 8’
TOR – Victor Vazquez (Michael Bradley) 22’
CHI – Bastian Schweinsteiger (Kevin Ellis, Diego Campos) 69’
CHI – Alan Gordon (Bastian Schweinsteiger, Johan Kappelhof) 90+4’
CHI – Aleksandar Katai (Caution) 73’
TOR – Jason Hernandez (Caution) 80’
Chicago Fire: Richard Sánchez; Kevin Ellis, Johan Kappelhof, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Grant Lillard, Brandon Vincent (Alan Gordon 82’); Mo Adams, Dax McCarty © (Jon Bakero 76’); Elliot Collier (Diego Campos 67’), Nemanja Nikolić, Aleksandar Katai
Subs not used: Patrick McLain, Drew Conner, Jonathan Campbell, Tony Tchani
Shots: 17; Shots On-Goal: 8; Fouls: 12; Saves: 2; Offsides: 4; Corners: 7.
Toronto FC: Alex Bono; Auro Jr., Gregory Van der Wiel, Michael Bradley, Ashtone Morgan, Nicolas Hasler (Tosaint Ricketts 75’), Marky Delgado, Ager Aketxe (Liam Fraser 81’), Victor Vazquez (Jason Hernandez 75’), Jonathan Osorio, Sebastian Giovinco
Subs not used: Clint Irwin, Ryan Telfer, Jay Chapman, Jordan Hamilton
Shots: 15; Shots On-Goal: 4; Fouls: 7; Saves: 2; Offsides: 2; Corners: 6.