Union salvage point with stoppage time equalizer against Fire

Sebastien Le Toux

By RYAN TOLMICH

For the second time this week, Philadelphia Union forward Sebastian Le Toux was clinical from the penalty spot, but Saturday’s equalizer proved to be a bit more meaningful.

Le Toux converted from the spot in stoppage time, earning the Union a late 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park.

After an end-to-end first half that failed to produce a goal, the Fire finally found the back of the net in the 60th minute via a Jeff Larentowicz header off of a corner. The 30-year-old midfielder, who missed a similar header in the 37th minute, made no mistake this time around, taking advantage of some highly questionable Union set piece defending to give his side the lead.

Rookie sensation Harrison Shipp played the ball into the box and into the path of a wide open Larentowicz near the penalty spot. The midfielder turned and whipped the ball back across his body and past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath into the back of the net. 

The hosts protected that lead until the 90th minute before conceding a late penalty to pave the way for Le Toux’s equalizer. The penalty came as a result of Le Toux’s own handiwork, as the French forward’s desperation volley from outside the box came was driven right into the hand of Gonzalo Segares. Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson guessed correctly on the ensuing spot kick, but Le Toux’s shot was just powerful enough to squeeze past the 25-year-old goalkeeper.

With the draw, the Union and Fire pick up their 23rd and 20th points, respectively. The Union will now enjoy a six-day layoff before taking on Premier League side Crystal Palace Friday. Meanwhile, the Fire face a short turnaround when they face the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday.

Here are the match highlights:

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7 Responses to Union salvage point with stoppage time equalizer against Fire

  1. Wade says:

    Terrible PK call.

    • PD in Philly says:

      agreed. but as a fan of a team that has gotten decidedly little love in PK calls for the better part of 2 seasons, I’m not gonna complain about Karma.

    • Broadsthooligans says:

      Yea as a Union fan that really was a wreck of a call. His arms as tight as possible and it’s way too close for him to do anything about.

  2. J says:

    Got to make the “Top Ten Bad Calls of the Year” list

    • Joe from Philly says:

      It was pretty bad, but I’m not sure if it was Top 10. I think USSF refs must get special training on maintaining inconsistency within every game and avoiding looking at anything directly. I like the idea of a Bad Call Top Ten. Make sure the Ref gets named though. The way some of them do it, you have to think they want to be famous too.

  3. Greg Kowalski says:

    Terrible call on the penalty. The rule says that in order for a handling to be a violation it must be “deliberate.” This was clearly not deliberate. The kicker was very close to the defender, who had no chance to do anything about it. In fact, the defender turned his back to the kicker. Calls like this at the professional level re-enforce the erroneous thinking of many fans that any time the ball hits a player’s hand or arm it must be a violation for “hand ball.” If an MLS ref penalizes an unintentional hand ball, then all refs at lower levels should be doing the same.

    By the way, when are refs going to start calling penalty kicks for attacking players being wrestled to the ground in the box on corner kicks. The current non-calls are ludicrous>

    • kyle says:

      the non call on shipp in the 11th minute was worse than the bad call on segares. shipp raises his arm to make a goal line clearance. should have been a red and a penalty. the ref saw it and pointed to the spot then changed his mind and gave a corner instead because he is cowardly.