The final frantic minutes of Saturday’s Eastern Conference showdown between D.C. United and the Chicago Fire looked like they would generate a goal. As the Fire pelted the D.C. goal with chance after chance, it seemed inevitable that the home team would find the goal to help them avoid the East wild card round.
Bill Hamid and Nick DeLeon had other ideas.
Hamid made a handful of world-class saves while DeLeon made the final, and most important stop by throwing himself in front of a goal-bound shot, to help D.C. United hold on for a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park on Saturday.
The draw helped D.C. United hold onto second place in the East, setting up a playoff semifinal series vs. the New York Red Bulls. The Chicago Fire will face the Houston Dynamo during the week in a one-game, wild card playoff at Toyota Park, with the winner taking on East No. 1 seed Sporting Kansas City in the semifinals.
Patrick Nyarko opened the scoring for the Fire with a first-half strike, but Lionard Pajoy delivered the equalizer in the second half. Both sides created plenty of chances for a winning goal, but a combination of bad finishing and outstanding goalkeeping kept the score 1-1.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? Impressed with D.C. United’s unbeaten run to end the season? See the Fire being able to make a run at the final despite having to play a wild-card game? See Bill Hamid making his way back to the U.S. National Team mix?
Share your thoughts below.