Coming off his one game suspension for what he described as a “small error,” Gastón Giménez was an absolute beast for the Chicago Fire Wednesday night against the New England Revolution at Soldier Field. He scored a goal, had six shots with three of those on target, won two tackles, and completed 93 percent of his passes in a highly motivated performance.
Giménez rightfully earned Man of the Match honors from the club, but in the end, the Fire were beaten by an even better designated player. Carles Gil scored a stoppage time winner against the run of play, and the best team in MLS walked away with another three points—3-2 to the Revs.
After the match, Raphael Wicky said Giménez had a “good performance.” He said the decision to allow both Giménez and Ignacio Aliseda back in the team—who also took part in breaking that undisclosed team rule—was a clear one.
“I said they are suspended for one game and once that is done they are back with the team and I treat them like every other player again,” Wicky said. “That’s it. I am not a coach or a person who if you do something wrong once, I am not going to have that for a week, two or three weeks, or all the time. That’s it.”
In what has become Bill Murray’s “Groundhog Day” for the Fire, the team played well in stretches, but defensive lapses cost them in the end. Scoring came from midfield (Giménez), and defense (Carlos Terán), but again nothing from the forwards.
Against any other opponent, maybe the Fire come away with at least a point. But this is New England, and a good performance for most of the match isn’t enough.
“For us and for the team, we thought we played a great game on the field,” Giménez said. “We played really well against the league leaders. We had so many situations where we created goal-scoring opportunities and we weren’t able to convert on them, and they didn’t create that many opportunities. But as you saw in the last goal that they scored, they had their chances and they converted their chances.”
The Fire are back home at Soldier Field against the second best team in the East on Sunday—Nashville SC. They’ll finish out the three game homestand next Wednesday against New York City FC, in a one-game return to SeatGeek Stadium.
Chicago Fire FC: GK G. Slonina, D Terán, D Kappelhof (Aliseda 60’), D Bornstein ©, M Sekulić, M F. Navarro, M M. Navarro, M Giménez, M Medrán (Stojanović 76’), F Berić, F Offor (Herbers 77’)
Subs not used: GK Shuttleworth, D Omsberg, D Espinoza, D Pineda, M Ivanov, F Collier
New England Revolution: GK Turner, D Kessler, D Delagarza Jr. (Bye 69’), D Bell, D Mafla (Jones 84’), M Traustason (Buchanan 61’), M Caicedo, M Kaptoum, M Caldwell (Gil 46’), F Kizza (Bou 46’), F Bunbury ©
Subs not used: D Farrell, GK Knighton, D Polster, F Buksa
Stats Summary: CHI / NE
Shots: 26 / 18
Shots on Goal: 10 / 7
Passing Accuracy: 80.9% / 72.4%
Saves: 4 / 7
Corners: 9 / 8
Fouls: 15 / 16
Offsides: 3 / 1
Possession: 59.6% / 40.4%
Referee: Lukasz Szpala
Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski, Claudiu Badea
Fourth Official: Jair Marrufo
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic, Craig Lowry