In a match that lasted just 49 minutes due to a rain delay and ultimate cancellation, the Fire defeated the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2-1 Wednesday in Chicago’s first match of the tournament.
Midfielder Grant Ward opened the scoring for the Fire in the 22nd minute. For Ward, it was the Tottenham Hotspure loanee’s first goal with the Fire.
The Fire extended the lead to 2-0 in the 40th minute when midfielders Jeff Larentowicz and Harrison Shipp assisted forward Mike Magee’s goal.
The Riverhounds responded quickly. Defender Andrew Marshall scored in the 42nd minute, just two minutes after the Fire had gone up by a pair, to make the score 2-1.
The second half eventually did get underway, but lasted just four minutes before the remainder of the game was cancelled in its entirety.
The Riverhounds play in the third-division USL PRO and are affiliated with the Houston Dynamo of MLS.
A crowd of 5,716 attended the match. U.S. Open Cup matches tend to draw smaller crowds than regular season matches.
Midfielder Logan Pause moved into first place on the Fire’s all-time U.S. Open Cup appearance list, passing C.J. Brown with his 26th.
The Fire will play a MLS opponent in the next round, as a date with the Columbus Crew is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CDT Wednesday, June 25 at Toyota Park.