ATLANTA, Ga. (March 18, 2017) – The Chicago Fire fell 4-0 to Atlanta United FC at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Atlanta were able to get the scoring started in the game’s fourth minute. After a string of deflections, Julian Gressel found the ball at his feet inside the Fire 18. His low cross attempt clipped the foot of defender Brandon Vincent and rolled into the Fire net to give the home side an early 1-0 lead.
Shortly thereafter, the Fire went down to 10 men after defender Johan Kappelhof was shown red for a foul from behind on Atlanta’s Josef Martinez in the 11th minute. The 79 ensuing minutes played with 10 men represents the longest period the Fire have had to defend down a man in club history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Atlanta would carry much of the first half possession in the wake of Kappelhof’s ejection, but the Fire would prevent further damage prior to the half and enter the break down 1-0.
Atlanta doubled their lead in the 60th minute. Midfielder Miguel Almiron slipped Martinez through the Fire defense, and the Venezuelan was able to round goalkeeper Jorge Bava and push the lead to 2-0.
Atlanta’s third came seven minutes later. After a short clearance inside the Fire 18, Hector Villalba found the ball at his feet in the center of the box on the rebound and was able to get a clean shot past Bava into the Chicago net. Martinez added a fourth in the 82nd minute, as he again found himself behind the Fire defense and around Bava to cap the score at 4-0.
The Men in Red return to action on Saturday, April 1 against the Montreal Impact at Toyota Park. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. CT on CSN Chicago Plus.
MLS Regular Season
Chicago Fire (1-1-1, 4 pts.) 0:4 Atlanta United FC (2-1-0, 6 pts.)
March 18, 2017 – Bobby Dodd Stadium
ATL – Brandon Vincent (OG) 4
ATL – Josef Martinez (Miguel Almiron) 60
ATL – Hector Villalba 67
ATL – Martinez 82
CHI – Johan Kappelhof (ejection) 11
ATL – Julian Gressel (caution) 15
CHI – Jorge Bava (caution) 18
ATL – Miguel Almiron (caution) 45
Chicago Fire: Jorge Bava, Michael Harrington, Johan Kappelhof, Joao Meira, Brandon Vincent, Dax McCarty, Juninho ©, Arturo Alvarez (Jonathan Campbell 15’), David Accam, Nemanja Nikolic (Drew Conner 79’), Luis Solignac (Brandt Bronico 66’).
Shots: 6; Shots On-Goal: 3; Saves: 3; Fouls: 7; Corners: 1; Offsides: 1
Atlanta United FC: Alec Kann, Greg Garza, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst, Tyrone Mears, Carlos Carmona, Julian Gressel (Chris McCann 72’), Yamil Asad, Miguel Almiron (Jeff Larentowicz 83’), Hector Villalba (Jacob Peterseon 69’), Josef Martinez.
Shots: 14; Shots On-Goal: 6; Saves: 3; Fouls: 6; Corners: 12; Offsides: 2