BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (May 11, 2019) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club (4-4-4, 16 points) defeated Minnesota United FC (4-4-3, 15 points) 2-0 at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday. With the win, the Men in Red extended its unbeaten run to three games, notching its third straight clean sheet and second consecutive victory.
Receiving first half goals from midfielders Nicolás Gaitán and Aleksandar Katai, the Fire tallied its fourth home win of the season, which ranks as the second-most in MLS in 2019. Additionally, following Saturday’s 2-0 result, the Fire have scored the second-most goals (16) at home this season, ranking only behind the Philadelphia Union (17).
The Fire struck the woodwork three minutes into the game when a deep throw in from defender Jorge Corrales released forward Nemanja Nikolić in behind the defense. Running onto Corrales’ throw, Nikolić played the ball back across the 18-yard box for Katai, who rattled his final effort off the post (WATCH).
Five minutes later, the Men in Red created another solid opportunity when Katai drifted inside the right side of the 18-yard box and fired a low effort that forced a diving save from goalkeeper Vito Mannone. The goalkeeper’s save deflected to Nikolić, who was charging toward goal, but the striker had to react quickly and knocked his final effort just wide of the target in the eighth minute (WATCH).
In the 21st minute, the Fire took the lead after a well-orchestrated counter attacking sequence. The play started when midfielder Dax McCarty recovered a loose ball on the edge of the Fire’s 18-yard box and quickly combined with Gaitán, before springing midfielder Przemysław Frankowski into space. Carrying the ball deep inside Minnesota United’s half, Frankowski unselfishly played the ball back across the 18-yard box for Gaitán, who took a touch past Mannone and calmly slotted his strike into the back of the net (WATCH).
The Fire doubled its lead in the 34th minute of play when Katai scored his second goal of the season. The crafty midfielder was able to find the back of the net after defender Johan Kappelhof won the ball in midfield and knocked it forward to Katai, who ventured into the box and converted a left-footed finish from a difficult angle (WATCH).
Continuing to press forward in the second half, the Fire created another chance through Katai in the 74thminute of play. Drifting inside the 18-yard box, Katai blasted a left-footed effort that forced a strong save from Mannone with just over 15 minutes remaining in the match.
Looking ahead, the Fire’s next match will take place against the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium on Saturday, May 18. Beginning at 2:30 p.m. CT, the match will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and transmitted locally on Univision Radio WRTO AM 1200.
- Gaitán recorded a goal for a second straight game. He has scored two goals this season.
- Katai scored his second goal of the season.
- Goalkeeper David Ousted posted the 46th clean sheet of his MLS career.
- The Fire notched its fourth clean sheet of the season, which ranks tied as the third-most in MLS.
- The Fire have tallied three straight clean sheets in seven days, holding its opponents scoreless for 270 minutes.
- The Fire posted its fourth home win of the season, which ranks as the second-most in MLS.
- The Fire also ranks second in MLS in goals scored at home (16).
- The Men in Red’s three clean sheets at home ranks tied as the most in MLS.
Chicago Fire 2:0 Minnesota United FC
CHI – Gaitán (2) (Frankowski) 21’
CHI – Katai (2) (Kappelhof) 34’
MIN – Métanire (Caution) 42’
CHI – Schweinsteiger (Caution) 77’
MIN – Rodríguez (Caution) 78’
MIN – Danladi (Caution) 90’ + 2’
MIN – Quintero (Caution) 90’ + 3’
Chicago Fire: GK Ousted, D Kappelhof, D Calvo, D Schweinsteiger, D Corrales, M McCarty ©, M Mihailović (Adams 57’), M Katai (Sapong 77’), M Gaitán (Bronico 33’), M Frankowski, F Nikolić
Subs not used: Sánchez, Campos, Herbers, Martínez
Shots: 15 Shots on goal: 6 Fouls Committed: 14 Fouls Suffered: 19 Offsides: 2 Corners: 4
Minnesota United FC: GK Mannone, D Miller (Ibarra 64’), D Métanire, D Kallman, D Opara, M Schüller (Quintero HT), M Alonso ©, M Gregus, F Finlay (Danladi HT), F Ibarra, F Rodríguez
Subs not used: Dotson, Boxall, Molino, St. Clair
Shots: 5 Shots on goal: 2 Fouls Committed: 19 Fouls Suffered: 15 Offsides: 0 Corners: 1
Referee: Marcos de Oliveira
Assistant Referees: Jeffrey Greeson, Jose Da Silva
Fourth Official: Greg Dopka
VAR: Daniel Radford