Late strike lifts Major League's Chicago Fire past Louisville Ci - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Late strike lifts Major League's Chicago Fire past Louisville City in extra time

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Chicago's late strike finds the back of the net in 116th minute. Chicago's late strike finds the back of the net in 116th minute.

CHICAGO (WDRB) – A late strike in the 116th minute by the Chicago Fire took a deflection off the chest of Quincy Amirokwa to put the home team up 1-0 and eventually through the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup.

Louisville's offense came up short on a handful of chances in the closing seconds – as they had for 120 minutes -- and the scramble in the box eventually led to Chicago's victory. Louisville City's players either stood stunned after the goal or protested the decision, calling for a hand ball call. Something Coach James O'Connor seemed to agree might have been a possibility.

The chances came fast and furious in the closing minutes of regulation, but neither team was able to connect for the go-ahead and extra time became necessary.

A sparse crowd turned out to Chicago's Toyota Park to see the Fire take on Louisville City FC in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup, and the dueling supporters groups drums can really only be described as making a racket – one that didn't even drown out Louisville's traveling contingent.

A cool breeze filled the stadium, but the Fire kept the heat on Louisville City's defense as they dominated possession in the first half – switching fields and working the ball forward with a steady rhythm.

Midfielder Harry Shipp provided the majority of Chicago's creative presence, working the ball to the wings, while former Louisville Cardinal Greg Cochrane won space in the corner to deliver several crosses.

Chicago's Matt Watson knocked into Kadeem Dacres to earn the game's first yellow card early in the first half, and a physical match ensued – with players fighting for position up and down the field.

In the 22nd minute, a botched clearance attempt earned Magnus Rasmussen the first solid chance of the game from the top of the box, but it glanced off the crossbar.

City's forwards worked to create sporadic chances with speed down the wings, but they were never able to capitalize.

As with the rest of the season, miscues and giveaways plagued Louisville's attack, though it never slowed. It even gained steam in the second half, which saw play even out for the most part.

Tarek Morad had to be taken off in the 36th minute after receiving treatment on the field twice and Sean Reynolds was brought on to replace him.

Early in the second half, Juan Guzman was able to play a long ball into space for Bryan Burke, who delivered a cross, but a couple chances were denied to keep Louisville scoreless.

In the 63rd minute, Charlie Adams put in a huge effort to win space down the left wing and sent a blistering cross through, but Dacres wasn't able to connect.

Shortly afterward, Eric Gehrig narrowly missed connecting on what would have been a spectacular goal as he flew past Goodwin trying to get a foot on it.

A late chance for Louisville came when Niall McCabe won space in the box and sent a Fire defender sliding past his cutback, but he was unable to connect on a shot and it was cleared out for a corner.

Ultimately, a game that might've been dominated by the fire was kept interesting for 120 minutes as Louisville City refused to give up any ground.

The club put in a good showing on a bigger stage than they've seen before, but the team will be disappointed with the result.

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