FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Aug. 24, 2019) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club (8-12-9, 33 points) fell 2-1 to the New England Revolution (10-9-8, 38 points) at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night. After leveling the score via a Francisco Calvo header in the first half, the Fire fell behind 2-1 after conceding a goal with four minutes remaining in the match.
The Fire came close to taking the lead from a set piece in the third minute when midfielder Nicolás Gaitán created an enticing opportunity for midfielder Przemysław Frankowski. Running onto Gaitán’s out-swinging corner kick, Frankowski hit a first-time shot that skipped just wide of the target.
Despite the pressure from the Fire early in the game, the Revolution managed to score against the run of play in the 17th minute when midfielder Wilfried Zahibo made a near-post run and got on the end of a Brandon Bye cross.
Three minutes later, the Fire responded with another chance on target when defender Francisco Calvo received a pass from defender Jonathan Bornstein and fired a left-footed shot from the edge of the 18-yard box, forcing a solid save from goalkeeper Matt Turner.
With New England attempting to extend its lead, goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm made his first save of the game in the 27th minute when he anticipated a ball that was played in behind Fire defenders for forward Cristian Penilla and denied the striker from scoring.
As the half progressed, the Fire continued to inch closer to an equalizer. In the 40th minute, midfielder Micheal Azira, capitalizing on a turnover, laid the ball off on the edge of the 18-yard box for Gaitán, who blasted a left-footed shot toward the bottom corner, forcing Turner to make a diving save, pushing the ball wide.
Chicago would eventually find the equalizing goal just one minute later when Calvo scored his third goal for the Fire. After earning a free kick on the left side of the field, Gaitán curled a precise cross into the center of the 18-yard box to Calvo, who carefully whipped his header just inside the far post to bring the Fire level in the 41st minute.
The goal marked the Fire’s 10th goal from a set piece in 2019. Additionally, with an assist on Calvo’s goal, Gaitán notched his team-high 10th assist of the season, which is the most assists in a single season for a Fire player since 2010.
Five minutes into the second half, the Men in Red nearly took the lead when Gaitán cut the ball back onto his left foot and fired a shot toward the near post, causing Turner to make another difficult diving save.
With both teams pushing for the game-winning goal in the second half, the Revolution managed to score in the 86th minute when midfielder Gustavo Bou intercepted a pass in the final third, before scoring a left-footed strike from outside the 18-yard box.
Looking ahead, the Fire will travel to face Columbus Crew SC at MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 31. Scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. CT, the match will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN Radio Chicago 1200 AM.
Chicago Fire 1:2 New England Revolution
NE – Zahibo (1) (Bye 2, Gil 12) 17’
CHI – Calvo (3) (Gaitán 10) 41’
NE – Bou (5) 86’
CHI – Gaitán (Caution) 1’
NE – Mancienne (Caution) 30’
NE – Bou (Caution) 87’
CHI – Azira (Caution) 90’+1’
NE – Agudelo (Caution) 90’+6’
Chicago Fire: GK Kronholm, D Bronico, D Kappelhof, D Calvo, D Bornstein (Herbers 88’), M McCarty©, M Azira, M Frankowski, M Gaitán, M Sapong, F Nikolić (Mihailović 75’)
Subs not used: Sánchez, D Lillard, Marcelo, Gutjahr, Campos
Shots: 10 Shots on goal: 5 Fouls: 9 Offsides: 2 Corners: 7
New England Revolution: GK Turner, D Farrell, D Jones, D Mancienne, D Bye, M Gil©, M L. Caicedo (J. Caicedo 78’), M Zahibo, M Fagundez (Agudelo 64’), M Bou, F Bunbury (Penilla 12’)
Subs not used: Knighton, Caldwell, Anibaba, Buchanan
Shots: 11 Shots on goal: 5 Fouls: 10 Offsides: 1 Corners: 4
Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Assistant Referees: Cory Richardson, CJ Morgante
Fourth Official: Marcos Deoliveira
VAR: Alan Kelly