KANSAS CITY (Sept. 10, 2023) – Chicago Fire FC II (9-8-9-4) scored three unanswered goals to win 3-2 at Sporting KC II (13-8-5-3) on Sunday afternoon. Luka Prpa led the winning effort with two penalty kick goals, while Chicago Fire Academy midfielder Dylan Borso marked his MLS NEXT Pro debut with a match-winning goal and a Man of the Match designation.
With playoff aspirations at stake, Chicago immediately pushed the ball forward. In the sixth minute, Missael Rodríguez came away with the ball after a defensive error and sprinted toward the Kansas City box. Goalkeeper John Pulskamp denied Rodríguez on the breakaway and initiated a counter attack that found Josh Coan. The captain found an open Sebastian Cruz, who finished cleanly to stun the Fire just seconds after a missed opportunity.
The goal emboldened the home side, which pushed forward with multiple chances in the opening 20 minutes. In one of Kansas City’s forays into the final third, the Fire defense conceded a foul just outside the box. Lucas Rosa set the ball down and curled a ball over the wall and into the top corner of the goal to double their lead.
Meanwhile, Pulskamp continued to shine, saving point-blank efforts from Rodríguez and Andreas Ueland in the box. But his defense finally faltered seconds into stoppage time when Borso earned a penalty kick following a foul in the box. Prpa stepped up to the spot and buried the kick, cutting the deficit to 2-1 and giving his side the momentum heading into the locker room.
Chicago looked for an equalizer upon the second half whistle. Only five minutes in, Hency dribbled into the box looking for an opening before being brought down. The referee once again pointed toward the spot, giving Prpa the chance to tie. The experienced midfielder sent Pulskamp the opposite way as he scored his second penalty of the match and seventh goal of the year.
An invigorated Fire sought the lead and would get it before the hour mark. Exploiting Kansas City’s high line, Rodríguez took off on a counter attack down the center of the pitch. He found an open Borso on the right wing, who cut into the box and blew past two defenders to finish with his first professional goal with Chicago.
Fighting a stifling heat, cramps and a hydration break, the visitors held on for over half an hour. Despite 10 minutes of stoppage time, Sporting KC II could not mount a comeback of their own, giving three crucial points to Chicago with the season winding down.
The Fire will wrap up the home portion of their 2023 regular season schedule on Friday, September 15, when they host Orlando City B at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois. First kick is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and coverage of the match will begin five minutes prior on MLSNEXTPro.com. Match entry and parking will be free for all fans.
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Box Score: Chicago Fire FC II 3:2 Sporting KC II
CHI - Gallina (Yellow Card) 47’
SKC - Clarke (Yellow Card) 50’
SKC - Duke (Yellow Card) 64’
CHI - Leonard (Yellow Card) 87’
CHI - Ostrem (Yellow Card) 90+7’
Chicago Fire FC II: GK Mišković, D Ostrem, D Burks, D Ueland (capt.), D Egan (Flores, 85’), D Reynolds (Leonard, 46’), M Gallina (Oregel, Jr., 66’), M Borso (Nesci, 73’), M Prpa, M Hency, F M. Rodríguez (Kidd, 85’)
Subs not used: GK Los, D Blake, M A. Rodriguez
Sporting KC II: GK Pulskamp, D Clarke (Cunningham, 90’), D Rindov, D Rad (Castellanos, 46’), D Rosa, M Tschantret (Vitor Dias, 46’), M Coan (Cisneros, 63’), M Duke, M Bryant, M Cruz, F Vargas (Vidal, 57’)
Subs not used: GK Bandré, D Lenis, M Mauriz, F Draper
Stats Summary: SKC / CHI
Shots: 10 / 19
Shots on Goal: 6 / 10
Passing Accuracy: 84.0% / 85.3%
Saves: 7 / 4
Corners: 7 /5
Fouls: 12 / 11
Offsides: 0 / 1
Possession: 52.5% / 47.5%
Referee: Olvin Oliva
Assistant Ref 1: James Norris
Assistant Ref 2: Justin Mack
4th Official: Drew Clemp