Kacper Przybylko stole the spotlight from teammate Xherdan Shaqiri's first MLS goal with a brace for his new club as Chicago Fire FC defeated shorthanded Sporting Kansas City 3-1 on Saturday evening at Soldier Field.
HIGHLIGHTS: Chicago Fire FC vs. Sporting Kansas City | March 19, 2022
Przybylko's first two finishes for the Fire in the 30th and 82nd minutes sandwiched Shaqiri's 50th-minute conversion from the penalty spot as Chicago remained unbeaten with two wins and two draws to start their 2022 campaign.
It's the former Philadelphia Union striker's fifth multi-goal game and the first since a brace in Philly's 3-1 win over Orlando City SC on Sept. 19, 2021.
Roger Espinoza pulled a goal back for Sporting six minutes after Shaqiri converted a penalty drawn by Mauricio Pineda to double Chicago's advantage.
But his one-time finish of Felipe Hernandez's cross was one of too few forays forward for the visitors, who were without the potential starting front line trio of Johnny Russell (hamstring), Daniel Salloi (calf) and Khiry Shelton (calf).
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Fire may feel unfortunate to have only won the game by two, given KC's lack of attacking threat. Espinoza's goal came on the visitors' only chance with greater than a 10% chance of conversion, per Opta. Meanwhile, Sporting Kansas City have now lost five in a row on the road dating back to last season, conceding multiple goals in all five.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: After Pineda induced Kortne Ford into a foul just inside the penalty area, there was little doubt who would step up to take Chicago's penalty. Shaqiri converted with the style that made him a fan favorite in previous stops at Bayern Munich and Liverpool.
PK GOAL: Xherdan Shaqiri, Chicago Fire FC - 50th minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Kacper Przybylko. He probably deserved consideration last week also after his yeoman's work in Chicago's 2-0 away victory at D.C. United in Week 3. He might have benefited from some uncharacteristically sloppy goalkeeping this time around by SKC's Tim Melia, but he's been deserving of that end product since his Midway arrival.
GOAL: Kacper Przybylko, Chicago Fire FC - 82nd minute
- CHI: Saturday, April 2 vs. FC Dallas | 3:30 pm ET (Univision, TUDN, Twitter)
- SKC: Saturday, March 26 vs. Real Salt Lake | 7 pm ET (UniMas, TUDN, Twitter)