BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (July 3, 2019) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club (5-7-7, 22 points) scored five first half goals in a 5-1 win over Atlanta United FC (9-7-2, 29 points) at SeatGeek Stadium on Wednesday night. With the performance, the Fire set a new Club record for the most goals scored (five) in a single half in MLS play.
The five-goal performance featured forward CJ Sapong’s first brace with the Fire. The Fire also received goals from defender Francisco Calvo and midfielders Nicolás Gaitán and Fabian Herbers. Gaitán, who was involved in four of the Fire’s five goals, also tallied three assists in the match, tying a Club record for the most assists in a game by a single player. With the result, the Men in Red extended their home unbeaten run to eight games (5-0-3) since March 30.
The Fire took the lead in the fourth minute of play when Calvo connected with Gaitán’s bending corner kick and powered a strong header into the back of the net. The finish marked Calvo’s second goal with the Fire, while Gaitán tallied his sixth assist of the season (WATCH).
Just three minutes later, the Men in Red doubled their lead when Gaitán played a carefully placed pass in behind the Atlanta defense to Sapong. After controlling Gaitán’s curling pass, Sapong blasted his right-footed strike through goalkeeper Brad Guzan’s legs (WATCH).
Continuing its strong start to the match, the Fire earned a penalty kick in the 13th minute when midfielder Aleksandar Katai forced a handball on defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez. As a result, Gonzalez Pirez was sent off for denying a goal scoring opportunity, reducing Atlanta to 10 men. Stepping up to take the penalty kick, Gaitán calmly placed the ball into the left corner of the goal, sending Guzan the wrong way. The finish marked the midfielder’s third goal of the season (WATCH).
In the final 10 minutes of the first half, the Fire added two more goals to set a new Club record. In the 37thminute, after defender Brandt Bronico recovered possession for the Fire in the midfield, Gaitán cleverly backheeled the ball to Sapong, who ventured into the box and slotted the ball into the far corner (WATCH). With the finish, Sapong notched his second goal of the match and his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
Seven minutes later, the Men in Red posted their fifth goal of the half, when Herbers scored his second of the season. Receiving a deep pass into the 18-yard box from Calvo, Herbers spun and calmly slotted home past a helpless Guzan (WATCH).
Atlanta United managed to pull a goal back in the 58th minute, when forward Brandon Vazquez scored a penalty kick. The visitors earned the penalty kick after midfielder Przemysław Frankowski brought down defender Miles Robinson inside the area. Despite the Fire’s 11-3 advantage in shots in the second half, Vazquez’s finish marked the sixth and final goal of the match.
Looking ahead, the Fire will play its next match on the road when the team travels to face Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, July 6. Scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. CT, the match will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and transmitted locally in Spanish on Univision Radio 93.5 Latino Mix.
- Sapong scored his first brace with the Chicago Fire. The striker extended his goal-scoring tally to eight goals in 2019, which ranks as the most on the team.
- Gaitán posted one goal and three assists in Wednesday’s match, tying a Club record for the most assists in a game by a single player. He has scored three goals in 2019.
- Gaitán has recorded two or more assists in three matches with the Fire this season.
- Calvo notched his second goal of the season with the Fire.
- Herbers scored his second goal of the season.
- The Fire set a new Club record for the most goals (five) in a half in Wednesday’s game. The performance marked the second time this season the Fire have scored five goals in a match.
- The Men in Red extended their home unbeaten run to eight games (5-0-3) since March 30.
- The Fire outshot Atlanta United 24-4. Additionally, the Fire won the possession battle 72-28 percent.
Chicago Fire 5:1 Atlanta United FC
CHI – Calvo (2) (Gaitán) 4’
CHI – Sapong (7) (Gaitán) 7’
CHI – Gaitán (Penalty Kick) (3) 13’
CHI – Sapong (8) (Gaitán) 37’
CHI – Herbers (2) (Calvo) 44’
ATL – Vázquez (Penalty Kick) (3) 58’
ATL – González Pirez (Ejection) 11’
CHI – Frankowski (Caution) 57’
ATL – Robinson (Caution) 69’
CHI – Gutjahr (Caution) 87’
CHI – Nikolić (Caution) 90’ + 2’
Chicago Fire: GK Kronholm, D Bronico, D Schweinsteiger, D Calvo, D Corrales (Gutjahr HT), M Herbers (Moreno 71’), M McCarty©, M Katai, M Gaitán, M Frankowski, F Sapong (Nikolić 60’)
Subs not used: Lillard, Sánchez, Marcelo, Campos
Shots: 24 Shots on goal: 10 Fouls: 14 Offsides: 1 Corners: 6
Atlanta United FC: GK Guzan, D Parkhurst, D González Pirez, D Robinson, D Escobar, M Nagbe (Ambrose 63’), M Gressel (Shea 63’), M Larentowicz, M Pereira, M Martínez (Pogba 18’), F Vásquez
Subs not used: Remedi, Meram, Kann, Carleton
Shots: 4 Shots on goal: 1 Fouls: 7 Offsides: 1 Corners: 1
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistant Referees: Oscar-Mitchell Carvalho, Richard Gamache
Fourth Official: Lukasz Szpala
VAR: Allen Chapman