Chicago Fire 3, New York City FC 2 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

Aleksandar Katai struck for a pair of goals five minutes apart early in the second half to help lift the Chicago Fire to a 3-2 win over New York City FC Saturday night at Toyota Park.

With his team trailing 2-1, Katai tied the match two minutes into the second half, spinning Ben Sweat before slotting inside the far post and added his second goal five minutes later, bypassing a pair of sliding defenders in Sweat and Alex Callens for his eighth goal of the season.

The Fire (6-7-5) raced out to an early lead when Dax McCarty played Nemanja Nikolic through and the 2017 MLS Golden Boot winner slipped a low shot inside the far post from just inside the box in the sixth minute.

NYCFC (9-4-4) leveled in the 36th minute on Ismael Tajouri-Shradi’s eighth goal of the season. The winger put his left-footed shot off the hand of Fire goalkeeper Richard Sanchez, who cheated to his left, and inside the far post.

Four minutes later, Jo Inge Berget gave NYCFC the lead with his third goal in the last two games. Following a free kick taken short, Anton Tinnerholm served a ball inside the box where the bearded Norwegian snapped his header in from 16 yards out.

Berget nearly added a second in the 73rd minute, but he headed off the crossbar.


  • 6’ — CHI — Nemanja Nikolic | WATCH
  • 36’ — NYC — Ismael Tajouri-Shradi | WATCH
  • 40’ — NYC — Jo Inge Berget | WATCH
  • 47’ — CHI — Aleksandar Katai | WATCH
  • 52’ — CHI — Aleksandar Katai | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The Fire don’t have the best record in the East, but they’ve racked up impressive wins — beating Columbus Crew SC, New York Red Bulls and now NYCFC to move above the playoff line. There might be a new coach at the helm in Domenec Torrent, but the Cityzens road woes continue.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Aleksandar Katai already got the better of Ben Sweat on the Fire's equalizer, but he did well to avoid the sliding left back before cutting on a sliding Alex Callens to score the winner.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Katai is the popular choice for two goals in a span of five minutes, but Dax McCarty did so well to orchestrate the attack and had a pair of assists, on Nemanja Nikolic's opener and on Katai's equalizer. He remains a thorn in NYCFC's side. 

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