CHESTER, Pa. (July 20, 2019) – Playing its third match in eight days, the Chicago Fire Soccer Club (5-10-8, 23 points) fell 2-0 to the Philadelphia Union (11-6-6, 39 points) at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday night.
After an even start to the match – in a game that featured extreme heat – the Union took the lead in the 11th minute after a short free kick created space for midfielder Marco Fabián to convert a long-range shot into the far corner.
In the 22nd minute, the Fire responded with a shot on target when midfielder Brandt Bronico combined with midfielder Przemysław Frankowski, before striking a left-footed attempt that forced a save from goalkeeper Andre Blake. Six minutes later, the Men in Red created another chance when midfielder Djordje Mihailović’s free kick into the 18-yard box found forward Nemanja Nikolić, who flicked his header just past the far post (WATCH)
After a run of controlling possession, the Fire came close to finding the equalizer five minutes into the second half. Finding space on the left wing, defender Francisco Calvo lofted a cross to the back post to forward CJ Sapong, whose powerful header was saved by Blake in the 50th minute (WATCH). In the 64th minute, Sapong received a similar opportunity to score when Herbers floated a cross into the 18-yard box. Leaping to meet Herbers’ cross, Sapong nodded his header on target, but Blake managed to make his third save of the game.
One minute later, the Union doubled its lead when midfielder Anthony Fontana reacted to a fortuitous deflection inside the 18-yard box and converted a one-time finish.
Following a double substitution from Head Coach Veljko Paunović – who inserted Aleksandar Katai and Diego Campos for Nikolić and Mihailović in the 70th minute – the Fire produced another close chance just three minutes later. Receiving the ball on the right side of the 18-yard box, Campos played a dangerous cross to Calvo, who whipped his header just high of the target (WATCH).
As the team gained momentum in the attacking end, the Fire saw another opportunity to find the back of the net in the final moments of the match. Receiving a deep, precise pass from Schweinsteiger, Campos drifted inside on his left foot and unleashed a powerful attempt that rattled off the crossbar in the 88th minute (WATCH).
Looking ahead, the Fire will face Cruz Azul in the quarterfinals of the Leagues Cup at SeatGeek Stadium on Tuesday, July 23. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT, the match will be broadcast live on ESPN+, TUDN (formerly Univision Deportes Network) and TSN GO. The Men in Red will return to league play on Saturday, July 27 when the team hosts D.C. United at SeatGeek Stadium. Scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. CT, the match will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and transmitted locally in Spanish on Univision Radio 93.5 Latino Mix.
Chicago Fire 0:2 Philadelphia Union
PHI – Fabián (4) (Wagner, Medunjanin) (5) (6) 11’
PHI – Fontana (1) 65’
CHI – Bronico (Caution) 8’
PHI – Wagner (Caution) 19’
PHI – Picault (Caution) 84’
Chicago Fire: GK Kronholm, D Kappelhof, D Schweinsteiger©, D Calvo, D Corrales (Lillard 42’), M Bronico, M Herbers, M Frankowski, M Mihailović (Campos 70’), F Sapong, F Nikolić (Katai 70’)
Subs not used: Sánchez, Marcelo, Gutjahr, Reynolds
Shots: 12 Shots on goal: 3 Fouls: 8 Offsides: 2 Corners: 4
Philadelphia Union: GK Blake, D Gaddis, D Elliott, D Trusty, D Wagner, M Medunjanin, M Bedoya©, M Aaronson (Illsinho 77’), M Fabián (Fontana 61’), F Przybylko, F Picault (Creavalle 90’)
Subs not used: Bendik, Collin, Allen, Wooten
Shots: 14 Shots on goal: 3 Fouls: 12 Offsides: 1 Corners: 5
Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Kieso, Andrew Bigelow
Fourth Official: Jon Freemon
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.