CHESTER, PA. (Oct. 28, 2020) - Chicago Fire FC (5-9-6, 21 points) narrowly fell 2-1 to the Philadelphia Union (13-3-5, 44 points), currently the top team in MLS, on Wednesday night at Subaru Park in Chester, Pa.
Philadelphia scored the first goal of the game in the 28th minute. A cross from the right side of the field appeared to hit the hand of Fire defender Francisco Calvo and the Union were awarded a penalty. Philadelphia forward Kacper Przybylko stepped up and converted with a powerful shot to the left side of the goal. It was the German’s eighth goal of the season.
The Fire were reduced to 10 men in the 36th minute when Calvo was sent off with a straight red card. The card came as the Fire captain clipped Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya’s heel.
Despite playing a man down, Chicago found an equalizer in the 42nd minute from forward Robert Berić. A pass from midfielder Przemysław Frankowski found Ignacio Aliseda who put a dangerous shot on goal. Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made a diving save and the rebound seemed to be going out of bounds. At the last second, midfielder Djordje Mihailović kept it in play and served a perfect ball to Beric, who headed it home for his team-leading 10th goal of the season.
The Union scored the game-winner in the 65th minute as substitute Cory Burke scored his first goal of the season. Midfielder Brenden Aaronson was able to find his way out of pressure and connect with Olivier Mbaizo on the right flank. The Cameroonian crossed the ball to the back post to the head of Burke who was able to hit it down past a diving Bobby Shuttleworth.
The Fire continued to push for the equalizer and nearly found it in the 76th minute. Midfielder Alvaro Medrán served up a free kick and Berić’s header just missed at the near post. In the final minutes of play, Chicago kept on pressing. In the 92nd minute, a free kick from Mihailović was flicked toward goal by Mauricio Pineda but cleared off the line by Union forward Andrew Wooten. One minute later, Aaronson blocked a shot from Gimenez to secure the win for the home team.
Bobby Shuttleworth made five key saves tonight, including one in the 32nd minute denying Union defender Jack Elliott and one in the 69th minute as Przybylko tried for his second of the match.
Next on the schedule: Chicago Fire FC will travel to Nashville on Saturday, October 31 to play Nashville SC in their second consecutive road match. The match will take place at Nissan Stadium and is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. CT. It will be broadcast live on WGN-TV and ESPN+ and transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN 1200AM. The pregame show, presented by CIBC, will begin at 7:15 p.m. CT on ESPN+.
- Berić, who earned Heineken Man of the Match honors, scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season. He is currently tied for third in scoring in MLS. The Slovenian has scored in three straight matches and netted eight goals since the beginning of September, two more than any other MLS player during that time frame.
- Fire defender Carlos Terán made his MLS debut coming on as a substitute in the 78th minute. The 19-year-old Colombian was acquired on Aug. 21 from Colombian first division club Envigado FC.
- Calvo was shown a red card in the 36th minute of play. He’ll miss Saturday’s match at Nashville.
- Midfielder Gastón Giménez rejoined the starting unit after completing his quarantine following participation in World Cup Qualifying with Paraguay. Giménez scored the game-winner against Venezuela on Oct. 13.
- The Union now have a three-point lead in the Supporters' Shield race with just two matches remaining. A victory in their next match would clinch the trophy.
- Every Fire broadcast starts with an original feature, The Open. Tonight’s version, “Fine Wine,” featured TUDN radio analyst Raquel Ortiz. You can watch it here.
- Game highlights can be viewed here.
- PHI - Kacper Przybylko (8) 28’
- CHI - Robert Berić (10) (Djordje Mihailović 5) 42’
- PHI - Cory Burke (1) (Oliver Mbaizo 2, Brenden Aaronson 7) 65’
Philadelphia Union 2:1 Chicago Fire FC
- PHI - Elliot (Caution) 16’
- CHI - Calvo (Ejection) 36’
- CHI - Berić (Caution) 45’
- PHI - Fontana (Caution) 48’
- CHI - Medrán (Caution) 57’
- PHI - Bedoya (Caution) 68’
- CHI - Mihailović (Caution) 88’
- PHI - Ilsinho (Caution) 90+4’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Shuttleworth, D Sekulić (F Collier 72’), D Bornstein (D Navarro 72’), D Calvo ©, D Pineda, M Medrán (D Terán 78’), M Mihailović, M Aliseda (M Herbers 72’), M Frankowski, M Giménez, F Berić
Subs not used: GK Sparrow, M Azira, M Casas Jr., D N. Slonina, D Reynolds II, M Gutiérrez
Philadelphia Union: GK Blake (GK Bendik 90’), D Elliott, D McKenzie, D Glesnes, D Wagner, D Gaddis (D Mbaizo HT), M Bedoya ©, M Fontana (M Ilsinho 60’), M Aaronson, F Santos (F Burke 60’), F Przybylko (F Wooten 87’)
Subs not used: M Turner, M De Vries, F Ngalina, D Collin
Stats Summary: PHI / CHI
Shots: 14 / 12
Shots on Target: 7/ 4
Saves: 3 / 5
Corners: 2 / 2
Fouls: 20 / 17
Offsides: 2 / 0
Possession: 53.2% / 46.8%
Referee: Guido Gonzales Jr.
Assistant Referees: Charles Morgante, Eric Weisbrod
Fourth Official: Natalie Simon
VAR: Younes Marrakchi