BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (April 9, 2023) – Chicago Fire FC II (2-1-0-0, 6 points) fell 1-0 to defending champion Columbus Crew 2 (1-0-1-1, 5 points) on Sunday night at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Ill.
A second yellow card near the end of the first half saw the Fire finish the game down a player for the second-straight match. It’s the first loss of the season for Chicago, which now sits in third place in the Eastern Conference.
Both teams found their way into dangerous areas in the opening minutes of the game, with Chicago forward Omari Glasgow drawing a foul outside of the box in the third minute. Luka Prpa sent a ball into the six-yard box but it was headed out by the Columbus defense. Just one minute later, Chicago goalkeeper Jeff Gal was called upon to make his first save of the game. A scuffle in the six-yard box ended with the ball falling out to the left side of the 18, where Columbus was able to get a shot in through traffic but a focused Gal was ready to make the save.
The Fire found themselves in a similar situation as their previous match in the 40th minute. Midfielder Javier Casas Jr. was shown a second yellow card for a hard tackle in the middle of the field, forcing the team to play the remainder of the match with 10 men.
With the one-man advantage, Columbus put pressure on the Fire defense throughout the second half, with Gal making several plays as a sweeper and coming up with important saves. In the 54th minute, Jack Morris got the ball on the right side of the field and tried his luck, sending it right to Gal. Just 12 minutes later, build-up play from Columbus sent the ball to the left side of the box, slipping through a low shot that Gall reacted well to get down and save.
Chicago also had their share of chances, forcing Brady Scott to make a save in the 73rd minute. Alonso Aceves won a ball on the defensive end and found himself with space. The Mexican defender carried it up the left flank before eventually sending a shot right to Scott. Then in the 84th minute, Glasgow pounced on a loose ball outside the box, holding onto it and taking a shot from distance that rolled just wide left of the goal.
Columbus eventually broke through in the 88th minute with a goal from Gibran Rayo. Marco Micaletto carried the ball on the right, finding Mataeo Bunbury, who saw Rayo at the top of the box. His pass fell right to Rayo, who took a touch to shake off his mark before turning to goal and sending the ball into the net.
Chicago will close out a three-game homestand against Philadelphia Union II at 6 p.m. CT next Sunday, April 16 at SeatGeek Stadium.
Box Score:Chicago Fire FC II 0:1 Columbus Crew 2
CLB - Rayo (1) (Bunbury 1) (WATCH) 88’
CHI - Casas Jr. (Yellow Card) 22’
CLB - Nero (Yellow Card) 27’
CHI - Casas Jr. (Second Yellow, Ejection) 39’
CLB - Micaletto (Yellow Card) 72’
CHI - Glasgow (Yellow Card) 74’
CLB - Morris (Yellow Card) 82’
Chicago Fire FC II: GK Gal, D Reynolds, D Omsberg ©, D Burks, D Aceves (Ostrem, 90+1’); M Prpa (Fleming III, 46’), M Casas Jr., M Oregel Jr. (Kidd, 46’); F Monis (Hency, 46’), F M. Rodríguez (Hernández, 90+1’), F Glasgow
Subs not used: GK Mišković, D Egan, D Leonard, M Flores
Columbus Crew 2: GK Scott; D Zengue, D Nero (Knight, 57’), D Rayo; M Morris, M Holstad (Wolf, 57’), M De Libera, M Mohamed (Mbumba, 89’); F Gannon (Bunbury, 57’), F Fuson, F Micaletto ©
Subs not used: GK Lozano; F Scarlett
Stats Summary: CHI / CLBShots: 10 / 11
Shots on Goal: 1 / 5
Passing Accuracy: 73.7% / 79.3%
Saves: 4 / 1
Corners: 6 / 4
Fouls: 11 / 12
Offsides: 5 / 3
Possession: 44.5% / 55.5%
Referee: Chris Ruska
Assistant Ref 1: Eric Del Rosario
Assistant Ref 2: William Aten
4th Official: Calin Radosav