Chicago Fire II Goals: Prpa 1', Hency 34'
New York City Football Club II Goals: Segal 3', Myers 90+4'
NYCFC II were on the road midweek as they took on Chicago Fie II at SeatGeek Stadium on Wednesday evening. A frantic start to proceedings saw Chicago take the lead inside the opening minute through Luka Prpa before Gabe Segal restored parity in the third minute. The hosts retook the lead in the 34th minute through Billy Hency. They looked on course for the victory until a stoppage-time header from Matthew Myers restored parity and saw NYCFC II secure a point. Chicago would claim the bonus point after winning 5-4 on penalties.
NYCFC II had a midweek trip to Illinois as looked to take three points from playoff rivals Chicago Fire II.
Head Coach Matthew Pilkington had some extra firepower to call upon in the form of Gabe Segal. The forward has found success in front of goal for Nick Cushing's first team already this season, and was now keen to bring that momentum to NYCFC II.
A frenetic start to the contest saw two goals scored inside the opening four minutes of proceedings. Chicago struck first after 59 seconds through Luka Prpa.
The visitors wasted no time in responding, however, thanks to some brilliant work down the left by Jonathan Jiménez. The forward's dazzling run finished with him cutting the ball back to the waiting Segal and he slammed the ball home to draw NYCFC II level.
The game was showing no signs of slowing down, with Chicago keen to establish their advantage. In the 23rd minute, Alex Monis fired off a shot from a difficult angle that required intervention from Alex Rando in goal.
Rando was nearly called into action again three minutes later after Romain Blake engineered the opportunity to shoot, but he was unable to keep his effort on target.
The hosts would retake the lead in the 34th minute after a deep cross by Monis found Billy Hency unmarked at the back post. His header ended up on the roof of the net to give Chicago the lead.
The Fire were gaining momentum and their efforts to secure a third goal in the first half were hampered by some solid goalkeeping from Rando along with stern work by the defensive unit.
Lamonth Rochester was denied in the 38th minute with a diving save before he fired off a second attempt that missed the target. As the halftime whistle approached Monis fired off the final attempt of the first 45, but it didn't trouble Rando in goal.
The second period brought with it no changes to the starting XI, but an early look at goal for Chicago after a deflected pass found its way to Monis just inside the area, but he flashed a half-volley wide of the target.
In response, an NYCFC II corner in the 42nd minute offered them the opportunity to draw level. A dangerous delivery was headed toward goal by Matt Myers, but it did not trouble Chicago's goalkeeper.
Prpa was keen to secure his second goal of the evening and he was given a chance to do just that from a freekick on the edge of the area. He managed to get the ball up and over the wall, but found Rando ready to deny him with a well-timed parry.
Pilkington would turn to his bench for the first time in the 63rd minute. In came Stevo Bednarsky and Johnny Denis in place of Piero Elias and Alexander Hauschild.
The momentum of the contest was now swinging in NYCFC II's direction, and in the 75th minute Jonathan Jiménez was played through on goal, but he was unable to keep his effort down and it ended up going over the bar.
In the final ten minutes of regular time, Drew Baiera embarked on a surging run down the right that ended up with him in the Chicago penalty area. Unfortunately, the defender could not connect the final ball with a teammate.
As the clock ticked toward the ninety-minute mark Pilkington introduced Jonathan Shore in place of Jiménez.
Four minutes of stoppage time was signaled by the assistant referee, and Chicago were reduced to ten men halfway through that when Charlie Ostrem was shown a second yellow card for delaying the restart.
NYCFC II would make the most of that man advantage with practically the last kick of the game after Rio Hope-Gund headed the ball onto the bar from close range - Matthew Myers on hand to nod the rebound in and secure at least one point for the Boys in Blue.
That forced the contest to penalties with Chicago claiming the extra point with a 5-4 victory.
How We Lined Up
Next up for NYCFC II is a meeting with FC Cincinnati 2 at TQL Stadium on August 27, 2023. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00PM ET.
Watch live on AppleTV and follow our official @NYCFCII Twitter page for updates.
Sign-up for MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app - and never miss a moment of the 2023 season. Stream every regular-season, playoff, and Leagues Cup match. Every Screen. No Blackouts.