After closing Friday's cross-conference competition on a five-game unbeaten streak, Chicago Fire gamer Enrique Espinoza picked up Saturday where he left off the night before, claiming back-to-back wins in the eMLS Cup Last Chance bracket to claim a spot in the Eastern Conference eMLS Cup Playoffs.
Espinoza cruised to a 3-0 win over New England's JKO1701 to open his Saturday schedule before going head-to-head with D.C. United's Renatogz05 with the sixth and final place in the Knockout Rounds at stake. It was Renatogz05 who gained the upper hand early on, scoring in the third minute and again in the 29th minute to claim a 2-0 advantage. But Espinoza pulled one back before halftime and scored three more after the intermission for a come-from-behind 4-2 victory that landed him in the final six among the field of 12 Eastern Conference competitors.
In the Knockout Round conference quarterfinals, Espinoza came up against FC Cincinnati's Gordon "Fiddle" Thornsberry, who finished third overall in the East at the end of three eMLS League Series events. Fiddle got on the board first in the 15th minute before Espinoza provided the answer with a goal through Cristiano Ronaldo just six minutes later. Fiddle would go on to take a 2-1 lead, however, and hold on down the stretch to advance in the bracket and end Espinoza's run at eMLS Cup.
Espinoza's inaugural eMLS season saw him compile a record of 13-17-5, inclusive of today's knockout-round competition.
Tough loss. Fiddle is a quality opponent and it was a good game. Learned a lot and while I’m happy with my progress, im not satisfied with my performances. I’ll look to do better for FIFA 20🤘🏼 https://t.co/qghjNy0Dac— Enrique Espinoza (@TheBITW7) March 30, 2019