WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 29, 2019) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club (4-5-6, 18 points) battled Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United (7-4-5, 26 points) to a 3-3 draw at Audi Field on Wednesday night. The Men in Red received goals from three different players, including forward CJ Sapong, midfielder Djordje Mihailović and defender Francisco Calvo.
In his first league appearance since May 11 due to a thigh injury, midfielder Nicolás Gaitán tallied his team-leading fifth assist, while defender Bastian Schweinsteiger notched his second assist of the season after setting up Calvo’s finish in the final moments of the match.
After scoring twice in a two-minute span early in the match, the Fire conceded three unanswered goals, falling behind with less than 10 minutes remaining in the contest. However, in the final moments of the match, Calvo scored his first career goal with the Fire, converting a header in the 92nd minute of play.
The Fire, who recorded a 23-13 edge in shots and a 11-4 advantage in shots on target, got off to a strong start in the match and took the lead in the 12th minute of play when Sapong scored from Gaitán’s well-placed free kick. With the Fire earning the free kick on the left side of the field, Gaitán curled in a beautiful ball to the near post for Sapong, who whipped a strong header past goalkeeper Bill Hamid and into the back of the net (WATCH).
Just two minutes later, the Fire doubled its lead when Mihailović anticipated a loose ball and struck a first-time effort from distance, hitting a powerful strike that deflected into the back of the net in the 14th minute (WATCH). The finish marked Mihailović’s second goal of the season.
Moments later, midfielder Aleksandar Katai traveled deep into the home side’s box and drove a cross through for Sapong, whose sliding effort forced a strong save from Hamid in the 20th minute (WATCH).
Just six minutes later, the Men in Red produced another chance on the counter attack through Katai when the Serbian powered his way into the 18-yard box and ventured past his marker, before hitting a left-footed effort at the near post that forced Hamid to make his third save in the 26th minute.
Heading into the halftime break, the Fire conceded against the run of play when a turnover allowed Ulises Segura to convert from inside the 18-yard box in the 44th minute.
Following a solid chance from Katai, who narrowly missed the far post to give the Fire a 3-1 lead, D.C. managed to level the score in the 61st minute when Segura found his way in behind the defense and converted his second goal of the match.
Responding to D.C.’s equalizer, the Fire created back-to-back scoring opportunities in the 68th minute. The first chance stemmed from a thundering effort from distance by midfielder Przemysław Frankowski, forcing a strong save from Hamid. The ball then found its way to the back post for Sapong, who headed it back across the face of goal for a first-time chance for Calvo that went wide of the target.
D.C. took the lead with less than 10 minutes remaining in the match when a cross into the 18-yard box found midfielder Luciano Acosta for a close-range header in the 81st minute.
In the second minute of stoppage time, the Fire deservedly scored its third goal of the game when Schweinsteiger redirected the ball back into the 18-yard box and found Calvo, who flicked his header past a charging Hamid to level the score (WATCH).
Next up, the Men in Red will face Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, June 1. Beginning at 5:00 p.m. CT, the match will be nationally televised on UniMas (Spanish) and Twitter (English) and transmitted locally in Spanish on Univision Radio WRTO AM 1200.
- Sapong scored for a second straight game, tallying his team-leading sixth goal of the season. The finish marked Sapong’s 62nd goal of his MLS career.
- Mihailović scored his second goal of the season and the fourth goal of his career.
- Calvo recorded his first career goal with the Fire and the sixth of his career.
- In his first appearance since May 11, Gaitán, who missed two matches due to a thigh injury, notched his team-leading fifth assist of the season.
- Schweinsteiger notched his second assist of the season.
- The Fire took 23 shots in Wednesday’s match, which ranks tied as the second-most in a match for the Club this season.
- Katai took a team-high seven shots in Wednesday’s game.
- The Men in Red are unbeaten in five of its last six games (2-1-3) against D.C. United since Sept. 16, 2016.
Chicago Fire 3:3 D.C. United
CHI – Sapong (6) (Gaitán) 12’
CHI – Mihailović (2) 14’
D.C. – Segura (2) (Rooney) 44’
D.C. – Segura (3) (Jara) 61’
D.C. – Acosta (4) (Jara, Brilliant) 81’
CHI – Calvo (1) (Schweinsteiger) 90+2'
D.C. – Canouse (Caution) 49’
CHI – Frankowski (Caution) 62’
Chicago Fire: GK Kronholm, D Kappelhof (Herbers 43’), D Calvo, D Schweinsteiger, D Edwards (Marcelo 72’), M McCarty ©, M Mihailović, M Frankowski, M Gaitán (Bronico 75’), M Katai, F Sapong
Subs not used: Ousted, Adams, Martínez, Nikolić
Shots: 23 Shots on goal: 11 Fouls Committed: 6 Fouls Suffered: 10 Offsides: 1 Corners: 6
D.C. United: GK Hamid, D Jara, D Brilliant, D Birnbaum, D Odoi-Atsem (Robinson 68’), M Canouse, M Moreno, M Rodriguez, M Acosta, M Segura (Stieber 80’), F Rooney
Subs not used: Seitz, Pedroso, Amarikwa, Yow, McCann
Shots: 13 Shots on goal: 4 Fouls Committed: 10 Fouls Suffered: 6 Offsides: 1 Corners: 5
Referee: Armando Villareal
Assistant Referees: Apolinar Mariscal, Ian McKay
Fourth Official: Matthew Franz
VAR: Geoff Gamble