SAN JOSE, Calif. (May 18, 2019) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club (4-5-4, 16 points) fell 4-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes (4-6-2, 14 points) at Avaya Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The result marked the Fire’s first defeat since April 28, snapping a three game unbeaten run in league play. Midfielder Aleksandar Katai scored for a second straight match to provide the team’s lone goal against the Earthquakes.
In the 17th minute of play, the Fire created a chance to score after a solid build-up play on the right side of the field. Released in behind by forward Nemanja Nikolić, midfielder Przemysław Frankowski played a dangerous cross into the 18-yard box for Katai, whose header skipped wide of the target.
Four minutes later, the Men in Red fell behind when a ball into the six-yard box from midfielder Shea Salinas found an unmarked Chris Wondolowski, who converted from close range to give the home side a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute.
Responding to San Jose’s early goal, the Fire came close to leveling the score just one minute later when Frankowski intercepted a poor clearance from goalkeeper Daniel Vega and redirected the ball to Nikolić inside the 18-yard box. Nikolić struck his first-time effort on target, but Vega recovered quickly and managed to make the save (WATCH).
The Men in Red continued to put Vega under pressure in the first half when a powerful free kick from Katai forced another strong save from the goalkeeper in the 27th minute. The Fire were awarded the free kick when midfielder Dax McCarty was brought down on the edge of the left side of the 18-yard box. On the ensuing free kick, Katai struck a powerful ball that forced a difficult save from the goalkeeper (WATCH).
In the final minute of the first half, the Fire created another scoring chance when Katai clipped the ball to the back post to Nikolić, whose header from inside the six yard box went over the crossbar (WATCH).
Three minutes into the second half, the Fire conceded a second goal when Wondolowski quickly reacted to a loose ball in the box and scored a tap in from close range to double the Earthquakes’ lead in the 48th minute.
Approaching the final stages of the match, San Jose scored a pair of goals in a two-minute span when Wondolowski scored in the 74th and 76th minutes. In the 74th minute, Wondolowski found the back of the net after converting a first-time strike from just inside the 18-yard box. Two minutes later, the striker added another goal to his tally after tucking away Jackson Yueill’s cross to the back post.
With seven minutes remaining, the Fire scored the game’s final goal when Katai found the back of the net for a third time this season. The goal occurred after the midfielder received the ball on the right side of the field from McCarty and drifted inside to blast a left-footed effort that was redirected into the goal (WATCH).
Looking ahead, the Fire’s next match will take place against New York City FC at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday, May 25. Beginning at 2:30 p.m. CT, the match will be broadcast nationally on Univision and transmitted locally on Univision Radio WRTO AM 1200.
Chicago Fire 1:4 San Jose Earthquakes
SJ –Wondolowski (1) (Salinas) 21’
SJ –Wondolowski (2) 48’
SJ – Wondolowski (3) (Espinoza) 74’
SJ – Wondolowski (4) (Yueill) 76’
CHI – Katai (3) (McCarty) 83’
CHI – Kappelhof (Caution) 41’
SJ – Espinoza (Caution) 54’
CHI – Corrales (Caution) 63’
CHI – Calvo (Caution) 86’
CHI – Katai (Caution) 90+5
Chicago Fire: GK Ousted, D Kappelhof, D Calvo, D Marcelo, D Corrales (Campos 72’), M McCarty ©, M Bronico (Adams 56’), M Frankowski, M Katai, F Sapong, F Nikolić (Mihailović 55’)
Subs not used: Sánchez, Gutjahr, Herbers, Martínez
Shots: 16 Shots on goal: 3 Fouls Committed: 16 Fouls Suffered: 9 Offsides: 0 Corners: 7
San Jose: GK Vega, D Thompson, D Cummings, D Jungwirth, D Lima, M Yueill, M Salinas © (Judson 88’), M Godoy, M Eriksson, M Wondolowski (Haji 90’), F Espinoza (Vako 79’)
Subs not used: Tarbell, Marie, Lopez, Kashia
Shots: 21 Shots on goal: 7 Fouls Committed: 9 Fouls Suffered: 16 Offsides: 4 Corners: 10
Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Assistant Referees: Brian Dunn, Felisha Marsical
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: Victor Rivas