St. Louis, MO – Saint Louis FC battled hard but fell 1-0 against the Chicago Fire in the Fourth Round of the U.S. Open Cup in front of 5,786 at Toyota Stadium on Wednesday night.
Chicago Fire striker Luis Solignac produced a world-class, acrobatic finish from a Brandon Vincent cross to score the game’s lone goal in the 27th minute. Saint Louis FC had a number of chances, including a Christian Volesky shot that rattled the crossbar, but ultimately could not find the equalizer. Chicago will now play Sporting Kansas City in the Fifth Round of the U.S. Open Cup.
The first half almost started with a shock in the 2nd minute as STLFC striker Jose Angulo pressed the ball off Johan Kappelhof and found himself one-on-one with Chicago goalkeeper Matt Lampson. Angulo successfully rounded Lampson but the angle was too tight for the finish and the ball ran out of play. Chicago responded in the 14th minute with a great opportunity from a free kick outside the box, but Juninho’s shot crashed off the post and safely away. However, Chicago’s goal would arrive in the 27th minute thanks to a brilliant improvised shot from Solignac, who backheel-volleyed the cross from Vincent to loop the ball over STLFC goalkeeper Adam Grinwis. The last chance of the half fell to STLFC’s Sebastian Dalgaard who beat three defenders before hitting his left-foot shot just wide.
The second half saw Chicago with some quality chances that required diving saves from Grinwis to keep Saint Louis FC’s hopes alive. In the 67th minute, the home side almost stole an equalizer as Volesky turned his defender and ripped his shot over the keeper but onto the crossbar. STLFC had another golden chance in the 79th minute as Angulo saw his diving header tipped away by Lampson. The game started to slip away in the 82nd minute as STLFC captain Dragan Stojkov picked up his second yellow card and the home side were forced to play the remainder of the game with ten men. Despite the quality play of Saint Louis FC throughout, the team finds themselves eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup while Chicago progresses to the Fifth Round.