The Chicago Fire advanced to the semifinal round of the U.S. Open Cup for the first time since 2016 on Wednesday, after defeating USL side Louisville City 3-0 at Toyota Park.
The Fire took the lead in the 16th minute, as Nemanja Nikolic turned in Aleksandar Katai’s cross with a glancing header. They doubled their lead in the 32nd minute, as a terrific individual effort by Katai on the counterattack led to a feed for Bastian Schweinsteiger, who set up Katai to finish the play he did so much work to complete.
Kyle Smith was issued a red card for a late challenge on Tony Tchani in the final 10 minutes, effectively sealing the win for Chicago against 10-man Louisville City, but Diego Campos got a late goal after Louisville goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski dawdled on the ball. Elliot Collier piled on with a stoppage-time goal of his own. Louisville City got a second red card, after Magnus Rasmussen committed a foul on Tchani off the ball.
- 16' – CHI – Nemanja Nikolic | WATCH
- 32' – CHI – Aleksandar Katai | WATCH
- 90' – CHI – Diego Campos | WATCH
- 90+2' – CHI – Elliot Collier | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It was a good run for Louisville City, but the Fire were very much the better side on the night. Chicago have actually made the semifinals five of the last six years, but with their history in the USOC they'll be looking for silverware.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Katai's goal was a beautiful team play that included considerable individual workrate from the Serbian.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: With a goal and an assist, Katai is the obvious choice here, helping Chicago take the early lead and see it out against an opponent looking for an upset.
- CHI: Saturday, July 21 vs. Toronto FC (7 pm ET | TSN1/4 - Full TV & Streaming Info)