CHICAGO – In what has been a trying season at times for the franchise, nothing may compare to the last two games at SeatGeek Stadium over the last five days.
The Fire faced contests with FC Cincinnati then the Columbus Crew, with each team struggling near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. It figured to give an up-and-down team, which hadn’t lost a game at home in eight matches, a legitimate chance to gain six needed points in the standings.
Instead, the lost 2-1 to FC Cincinnati on Saturday, then on Wednesday, watched a chance to get three points disappear in the final minutes.
Romario Williams took a solid long pass in the scoring area and headed it into the back of the goal in the 90th minute to salvage a 2-2 draw with the Fire at SeatGeek Stadium. Instead of a possible six points in two games, Veljko Paunovic’s group has to settle with just one, and remain in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, six points out of the last playoff spot.
Twice the Fire had leads against Columbus but couldn’t hold it, as Djordje Mihailović score in the 28th minute was answered by the Crew’s Gyasi Zardes two minutes after halftime.
C.J. Sapong scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season in the 63 minute and then held the lead all the way up till the great 90th-minute header by Williams.
In the five minutes of stoppage time, the Fire spent most of it attacking the Columbus goal, but a number of chances never produced a score. Just as two matches that appeared ripe for victories ended up slipping through the home team’s hands.