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Major League Soccer

Last gasp drama in Chicago and Vancouver

Chicago Fire 1 Houston Dynamo 1 – September 1

The Fire extended their unbeaten run to two games after this draw, but it must of felt like a loss for them as they came within moments of claiming all three points. The home side started well and proved dangerous in the early going with winger Dilly Duka Houston’s main tormentor, but last ditch defending kept the scores level.

Chicago finally made the pressure count when they took the lead after 37 minutes when a Mike Magee cross found it way past Jeff Larentowicz head and deflected off the visitors defender Bobby Boswell to evaded goal-keeper Tally Hall.

As timed passed though the hosts went into their shell and invited Houston on to them. It looked like they would survive the onslaught to claim all the marbles but as so often happens when a team uses these tactics it comes back to haunt them and that proved the case here.

As time ticked up to 90 minutes Adam Moffat collected a neat back-heel from Corey Ashe, who had replaced the injured Eric Brunner just before the interval and unleashed an unstoppable strike past Sean Johnson in the Fire goal. That forced Chicago to try to wrestle the initiative back off the away team and deep into stoppage time they almost achieved it but Jalil Anibaba header off a Magee free-kick which looked destined to find the bottom corner was somehow turned away by Hall and both sides had to settle for a point knowing a win by either one would have lifted them above New England and into the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

As it was they stayed as they where with Houston in sixth although now tied on points with the Revs only trailing by obtaining one fewer win whilst still having played one game less, whilst Chicago sit a place further back and trail the Revolution by just two points but they also still have a game in hand.


Vancouver Whitecaps 2 Chivas USA 2

The hosts snapped their two game losing run but they left it late to gain a draw. A Eric Torres brace to take his tally to four in his last two games set the Californian side on their way.

His first strike came with only three minutes on the clock when the hosts defender Andy O’Brien failed to get distance only height on a header, Torres waited for it to come down before executing a perfect over-head kick that flew into the top corner past David Ousted in the Whitecaps goal.

11 minutes later and Torres got his second when he converted a cross from Edgar Meja with a header this time into the bottom corner of the net. Even though the Whitecaps trailed at the break they had still gained more possession than their opponents and if they could just convert that into goals they knew they still had a chance.

After 64 minutes that theory started to take shape as Gershon Koffie halved the Whitecaps deficit. A poor kick by goal-keeper Dan Kennedy who had ventured from his goal presented the ball to him and although the keeper made it back to his net he was powerless to stop Koffie’s long range effort entering the target.

That got the home side going and their effort and endeavour was rewarded 3 minutes in stoppage time when Tommy Heinemann, who had replaced O’Brien after 80 minutes lashed home a shot after Erik Hurtado had headed back a Kekuta Manneh cross to salvage a point for the hosts.

Although a win would have moved them into the Western Conference playoff places they still move up one place to sixth and are now only two points behind Portland who occupy the final playoff spot. Chivas extend their unbeaten run to two games but with the lateness that they conceded that may feel like a loss for a short while.