clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Saved By Zac: Chicago Fire 2-2 Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union were flirting with disaster after an Aaron Wheeler penalty in stoppage time, but Zac MacMath stepped up and saved the day and preserved the draw.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

After playing what was probably their worst game of the season, the Union managed to gain a 2-1 lead only to lose it once again late in the second half. But thanks to some stoppage time heroics from Zac MacMath, the Union would still walk out of Toyota Park with a point and the knowledge that things could have been so much worse.

The Fire struck first in the 16th minute. Quincy Amarikwa found himself streaking down the left wing thanks to a stumble by Amobi Okugo and Amarikwa picked out Mike Magee in the box who slotted home the Fire's first goal past a helpless MacMath.

The Union would respond well though. Conor Casey was able to find Maurice Edu inside the box in the 23rd minute only for Edu to miss the net. Eight minutes later though, Edu would get his. A Vincent Nogueira shot was blocked in the box by Jhon Kennedy Hurtado but fortunately for the Union the re-direct would end up on the left foot of Edu who was able to fire the ball past an unprepared Sean Johnson to bring the Union level with the Fire.

Then in the 39th minute, Leo Fernandes had himself a moment of magic. Taking a free kick from distance, Fernandes launched it in to the box where it bounced off the pitch and into the net over an outstretched Johnson without the ball touching another human. The odd free kick put the Union up 2-1 into the break.

Throughout the second half the Chicago Fire were chasing the game in search of an equalizer. But despite the constant pressing they were denied by MacMath and missed opportunities. The Fire had been unable to come up with a goal until the 86th minute, and it happened because set piece defense struck the Union again. In the 86th minute Magee launched a free kick from a dangerous spot to Hurtado who was able to play it across to an open Bakary Soumare who headed it in to tie the match and cost the Union another two points at the death again. The former Union defender had gotten revenge, salvaging a point for the Fire and dropping two for the Union.

Things appeared to go from bad to worse for the Union in stoppage time. With Juan Luis Anangono receiving a long ball in the pass, Aaron Wheeler clotheslined him with his leg forcing the referee to blow the whistle and awarding the Fire with a deserved penalty. Fortunately for the Union, MacMath was up to the task and denied Magee not just once on the PK, but twice as he swallowed the rebound as well. MacMath's saves would be the final act of the game and the Union walked out of Chicago disappointed to have lost another two points in the final minutes but also relieved knowing it ultimately could have been so much worse.

Up next for the Union is a home match against Real Salt Lake in what should prove to be a nice hurdle should the Union seek to overcome their three match winless streak.