Blaine, Minn. (May 7, 2023) – Chicago Fire FC II overcame a 2-0 deficit to earn a 3-3 draw at MNUFC2 on Sunday night. Harold Osorio and Omari Glasgow scored their first goals of the season to tie the match, while Billy Hency tallied his team-leading second to give the Fire a lead. Minnesota’s 90th minute equalizer led to the Fire’s second consecutive shootout, in which Fred Emmings’ heroics gave the home side an additional point to wrap up the match.
The match began under sunny, warm conditions in the Twin Cities, yet the Fire weathered an early storm. After a shot by Luka Prpa was saved by Emmings in the third minute, the home side took advantage of a high line to drop the ball in behind the Fire defense. Diogo Pacheco broke away for a clean look in the seventh minute, but Fire goalkeeper Mihajlo Mišković held his ground to deny his sixth goal of the year.
But the pressure continued, and in the 14th minute, Molik Khan picked a defender off in the box to rip a hard shot that Mišković was able to parry. However, the rebound fell into Khan’s lap, who did not miss a second time to score his first goal of the year.
Chicago pushed up to equalize after the match, but Minnesota used the situation to their advantage to double the lead. Emmanuel Iwe recovered a ball in the midfield and quickly played a through ball to an open Patrick Weah. The winger raced into the box to beat a charging Mišković to the ball, suffering a foul in the process. A penalty kick was awarded and Weah himself converted for his second goal of the campaign.
With an early two-goal deficit, the Fire had an uphill climb ahead of them, but the visitors stuck to a high-possession game plan that soon paid off dividends. In the 36th minute, Justin Reynolds and Prpa combined on a give-and-go that saw Reynolds reach the edge of the box. Just before being dispossessed, he laid the ball off to a late arriving Osorio, who struck home to make it 2-1. His first of the season cut the deficit in half and gave his team some confidence as both sides went into the locker room at the break.
The Fire returned from the break on the hunt for the equalizer. Less than 10 minutes in, Michael Flores led the attack into the Minnesota half. He found an overlapping Charlie Ostrem, who delivered a pinpoint cross to the head of Glasgow. The Guyanese winger struck cleanly to equalize the match and score his first goal of the year.
The inspired Fire continued to press forward and once again caught a shocked MNUFC2 side flat footed in the 63rd minute. Henrique Gallina lofted a ball into the path of Glasgow on the wing, who pinched in and played a ball across the face of the goal. On his first touch of the match, a wide-open Billy Hency tapped the pass home to complete the comeback. Hency’s second of the season also gave him lone possession of the Fire’s golden boot early on in the season.
The Fire held on throughout much of regulation, but the home side frantically attempted to equalize the match. In the 90th minute, Diogo Pacheco found an opening and worked his way into a dangerous position in the box. The winger lashed a shot that Eric Leonard deflected into the back of the net.
The late equalizer meant the Fire faced yet another shootout for a second consecutive match. After coming into the match a halftime for an injured Mišković, Chicago Fire Academy goalkeeper Patrick Los held his own and even saved a shot in the shootout. However, Emmings displayed his experience by saving two shots, including the fifth and final offering in the series, to give his team an additional point in a 3-2 shootout win.
The Fire return to SeatGeek Stadium to take on MLS NEXT Pro first year club Huntsville City FC next Friday, May 12. The match will also be streamed on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV beginning at 7 p.m. CT.
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Box Score:MNUFC2 3 (3):(2) 3 Chicago Fire FC II
MIN - Khan (1) (WATCH) 14’
MIN - Weah (2) (P) (WATCH) 22’
CHI - Osorio (1) (Reynolds 1) (WATCH) 36’
CHI - Glasgow (1) (Ostrem 1) (WATCH) 54’
CHI - Hency (2) (Glasgow 1) (WATCH) 63’
CHI - Leonard (Own Goal) 90’
MIN: Uche (Scored), Pacheco (Scored), O’Driscoll (Missed), Richardson (Scored), Gbo (Saved)
CHI: M. Rodríguez (Missed), Hency (Scored), Prpa (Scored), Gallina (Saved), Glasgow (Saved)
MIN - O’Driscoll (Yellow Card) 38’
CHI - Prpa (Yellow Card) 45’
MIN - Gbo (Yellow Card) 48’
CHI - Oregel, Jr. (Yellow Card) 55’
MIN - Fischer (Yellow Card) 70’
MIN - Leatherman (Yellow Card) 82’
CHI - Hency (Yellow Card) 88’
Chicago Fire FC II: GK Mišković (Los, 46’); D Reynolds (Fleming III, 74’), D Egan (Kidd, 77’), D Rochester, D Ostrem; M Leonard ©, M Osorio (M. Rodríguez, 74’), M Oregel Jr. (Gallina, 60’); F Glasgow, F Prpa, F Flores (Hency, 61’)
Subs not used: D Fuderer; M A. Rodriguez
MNUFC2: GK Emmings; D Leatherman, D Fischer, D Henry © (Uche, 71’), D Richardson; M O’Driscoll, M Khan (Romanshyn Jr., 82’), M Gbo; F Pacheco, F Weah (Mesanvi, 62’), F Iwe (Conneh, 82’)
Subs not used: GK Pulisic; D Blay; M Lijewski, M Schaefer
Stats Summary: MIN / CHIShots: 14 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 5
Passing Accuracy: 70.5% / 75.2%
Saves: 2 / 4
Corners: 3 / 1
Fouls: 18 / 12
Offsides: 3 / 2
Possession: 41.1% / 58.9%
Referee: Nabil Bensalah
Assistant Ref 1: Eric Wood
Assistant Ref 2: Justin Mack
4th Official: Jacob Larson