BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (Aug. 16, 2023) – Chicago Fire FC II (8-7-9-4) earned an additional point following a 2-2 draw against NYCFC II (9-11-3-0). Luka Prpa scored his third goal in three consecutive matches, while Billy Hency added a team-leading sixth goal. Mihajlo Mišković made two saves to end the shootout and win it for Chicago.
The action began before either side was able to settle into the match. Only seconds in, Omari Glasgow lofted a ball into the path of Hency, who found Prpa at the top of the box. As in Sunday’s match, the midfielder cut to his left to unleash a shot away from the diving Alex Rando. His tally tied him with Hency, Alex Monis and Charlie Ostrem for the team lead and doubled in importance as the 1000th goal in MLS NEXT Pro regular season history.
The visitors wasted no time to equalize. Shortly after the restart, Jonathan Jiménez dribbled down the left wing and to the byline before passing to the top of the six-yard box. Gabe Segal peeled away from his defender to finish and tie the match at one apiece in only the third minute of play.
Both sides had plenty of opportunities throughout the rest of the half, but it was the Fire that capitalized in the 34th minute. Lamonth Rochester found acres of space on the left and enough time to pick out a run by Monis toward the corner. The Homegrown forward turned and flicked a ball toward an open far post, where Hency stood to finish his chance. His tally returned the Fire golden boot to him with six for the year and gave the momentum back to Chicago at halftime.
The Fire started the second half with chances aplenty but lacking a finishing touch. The defense held on throughout regulation time and into stoppage time, when the team went down to 10 men. With only seconds remaining, New York won a corner kick. The ball was flicked to Rio Hope-Gund, who headed the ball from point-blank range on frame. Mišković made a save, but the ball was parried into the path of M.D. Myers for the late equalizer. The whistle blew shortly thereafter, giving each team a point.
New York won the coin flip and took an early lead in the shootout as Rando saved the Fire’s second shot. With the score in favor of the visitors, Mišković stepped up in a deciding fifth kick and made a diving stop. Lamonth Rochester followed with a rocket into the goal, giving the Serbian goalkeeper a chance to give the advantage back to Chicago. He saved Hope-Gund’s effort, leaving Justin Reynolds’ kick as the potential winner. The defender lashed it home and the Fire walked away with an additional point for the second straight time at home.
Chicago Fire II returns to the road on Sunday, August 27 to face New York Red Bulls II at MSU Soccer Park in Montclair, New Jersey. First kick is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and coverage of the match will begin five minutes prior on MLSNEXTPro.com.
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Chicago Fire FC II 2(5):2(4) NYCFC II
Chicago Fire FC II: Prpa (scored), Oregel, Jr. (saved), Gallina (scored), M. Rodríguez (scored), Rochester (scored), Reynolds (scored)
NYCFC II: Segal (scored), Myers (scored), Benalcazar (scored), Beer (scored), Denis (saved), Hope-Gund (saved)
NYC - Baiera (Yellow Card) 20’
CHI - Ostrem (Yellow Card) 22’
NYC - Beer (Yellow Card) 57’
NYC - McFarlane (Yellow Card) 60’
CHI - Reynolds (Yellow Card) 62’
NYC - Jiménez (Yellow Card) 78’
CHI - Ostrem (Second Yellow Card, Ejection) 90+2’
Chicago Fire FC II: GK Mišković, D Ostrem, D Omsberg (capt.), D Burks, D Blake (Reynolds, 30’), M Rochester, M Casas (Gallina, 59’), M Prpa, F Monis (M. Rodríguez, 59’), F Hency (Oregel, Jr., 75’), F Glasgow
Subs not used: GK Los, D Egan, D Fuderer, D Ueland, M Kidd
NYCFC II: GK Rando, D McFarlane, D Benalcazar, D Hauschild (Bednarsky, 63’), D R. Hope-Gund, M Carrizo (Beer, 46’), M Baiera (Arévalo, 85’), M Elias (Denis, 63’), F Segal, F Myers, F Jiménez (Shore, 87’)
Subs not used: GK K. Hope-Gund, D Owusu, D Haxhari, F Gómez
Stats Summary: CHI / NYC
Shots: 21 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 4
Passing Accuracy: 84.4% / 83.6%
Saves: 2 / 4
Corners: 6 / 5
Fouls: 22 / 9
Offsides: 3 / 0
Possession: 46.8% / 53.2%
Referee: Kyle Johnston
Assistant Ref 1: Eric del Rosario
Assistant Ref 2: Eric Burton
4th Official: Braeden Frey