Union, leading late, scramble to preserve tie vs. Fire

Posted: April 07, 2014

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - It was a roller-coaster of a game for the Union Saturday. Appearing on the verge of victory, they only managed a 2-2 draw, and that only came due to the heroics of goalie Zac MacMath.

In the waning moments of stoppage time, Union defender Aaron Wheeler was cited for a foul, leading to a penalty kick by 2013 Major league Soccer MVP Mike Magee. But MacMath dove to his right to stop Magee's shot and then deflected the rebound out of danger, as the Union salvaged a point.

"We scout all the [penalty kicks] in the league," MacMath said of his first penalty-kick challenge of the year. "I had a good feeling he was going to try to go low to the right. Thankfully, I was able to get enough of it."

A win had seemed close minutes earlier, but just as in last week's match against Montreal, the Union allowed a late goal, this time in the 86th minute. Chicago striker Juan Luis Anangono was credited with the tying score off a Magee free kick.

Stunned-looking Union coach John Hackworth was not pleased with his team's performance.

"There were some really silly decisions that led to the goals and to the penalty kick at the end of the game, and Zac saved us," Hackworth said.

There was a bright side to the result, as the Union offense finally broke through, scoring twice for the first time in 14 matches going back to last season. This year, they had tallied one score in each of their four matches. But the one-goal barrier was broken in the 39th minute when a free kick from midfielder Leo Fernandes from 25 yards out went untouched and bounced directly into the net.

Trailing by 1-0, midfielder Maurice Edu scored the Union's initial goal in the 32d minute, by retrieving a deflection off a shot taken by midfielder Vincent Nogueira.

Union defender Sheanon Williams saw his first action of the year, entering at halftime, after missing the season's initial four matches with a quadriceps injury. Defender Austin Berry, who had been held out of action the last two matches with an injured hamstring, did not play.

Seattle 4, Portland 4 - Clint Dempsey scored a hat trick, including two goals in the final five minutes, and the visiting Sounders staged a furious late rally to salvage with the arch-rival Timbers.

Diego CharĂ¡ had two goals for Portland.

Toronto 2, Columbus 0 - Michael Bradley's goal in the 11th minute was enough for Toronto FC to end the Crew's unbeaten run. Issey Nakajima-Farran added a goal in the 85th minute.

D.C. United 2, New England 0 - Andrew Dykstra earned a shutout in his first MLS start in nearly four years and host D.C. United snapped a 15-match winless streak.

This article contains information from the AP.

comments powered by Disqus