ATLANTA -- The Chicago Fire defeated the Atlanta Silverbacks 3-1 Wednesday night at Silverbacks Park in the quarterfinal round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
After both sides were reduced to 10 men, second-half goals from Quincy Amarikwa, Jeff Larentowicz and Alex led the Fire to victory. The Fire will now face the winner of the Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers match tonight in Seattle.
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Both sides were reduced to 10 men in the 31st minute when Mike Magee and the Silverbacks' Jesus Gonzalez were ejected for a scuffle near the right touchline.
After the two sides traded chances, Amarikwa finally broke through in the 50th minute. Harry Shipp whipped in a free kick from the right side that bounced around and fell to Amarikwa, who pounced and slotted it into goal to give the Fire the lead.
The Silverbacks equalized just four minutes later when Junior Sandoval played a nice through ball to Deon McCaulay, who tapped it in from 10 yards out.
Newly acquired forward Matt Fondy made his Fire debut when he entered the match in the 63rd minute. The move would prove advantageous in the 81st minute when he dribbled into the Silverbacks' 18-yard-box and was dragged down, earning a penalty kick. Larentowicz stepped up and calmly buried his ensuing penalty past Carrillo for the 2-1 lead.
Alex added an insurance goal in the 85th minute when he cleaned up a blocked shot from Grant Ward as the match ended 3-1.
"If you think about the quick turnaround we've had … I mean, we had to use a lot of the same players. I thought it was a great performance," Fire coach Frank Yallop said. "They're a good side, and they play well at home, especially on the surface. Wasn't easy.
"But I was pleased for both Alex and Matt coming on and getting the penalty kick to win the game for us. So, hard-fought battle, but it's about winning the game and getting through to the next round, so it's important."