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Red Bulls Steal a Point at The Death Again, Tie up Chicago Fire 2-2

For the second consecutive time, Brian White and the Red Bulls found a way to steal a point from their opponents deep into stoppage time, this time on the road against the Chicago Fire, putting a dramatic end to a tight and feisty affair at Soldier Field Saturday night.

The Fire has made playing them at home a tough place to play for the Red Bulls whether it is at their former home out in Bridgeview or at Soldier Field, the Red Bulls only managed six wins against the Fire at their home grounds, a tough assignment regardless of the venue.

Both teams started the match fully intended of putting the match on their terms, Chicago needing a win to leapfrog over Inter Miam for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and New York chasing a sixth-place spot in the table with three matches remaining. Needless to say, this was a must-win for both teams involved.

The Fire nearly got on the scoreboard early in the 19th minute. New York defender Jason Pendant loses the ball in the back, where Przemyslaw Frankowski managed to get a shot off, but fortunately for goalkeeper Ryan Meara and his teammates, the ball whistled just wide to the left of the net. 

Both teams exhibited very different styles of play. The Red Bulls with their high-press, which causes turnovers in the opponent's defensive end, and the Fire, with their prolific offense, building from the back, which plays right into the Red Bulls hands. But despite multiple chances by both teams, the first 30 minutes, resulting in a stalemate.

But the stalemate wouldn't last for very long. Off a throw-in, Jared Stroud and Florian Valot were able to find space in the Chicago defense. With Stroud splitting two Chicago defenders, passed the ball to Valot, who spotted a wide-open Kyle Duncan, and he scored his third goal in the season in the 39th minute to give the visitors the lead.

In a wild sequence, Chicago finally broke through in the 51st minute. With Boris Sekulic putting the ball in play, passing it in the box, it was initially defended well and blocked away by Sean Davis. But Chicago kept the play alive, whipping the ball around with velocity until found the feet of Robert Beric, who tapped home his ninth goal of the season for the equalizer. Ending New York's 350 minutes without surrendering a goal.

Fire goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth put the ball in play outside his line, Fabian Herbers' diving header was initially saved by Meara. However, while his teammates were caught ball watching, Prezmyslav Frankowski cleaned up the mess by poking home from close range for his first goal of the season to put the home side ahead.

However, as it was the case against Orlando City at Red Bull Arena last weekend, Brian White would come up with the equalizer in the 91st minute following a late scramble in the box that ended with the Red Bulls striker putting home a deflected shot off the hand of goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, and into the back of the net, stunning the hosts and denying them all three points to move into a place into playoff position.


No Kaku, No Problem - With Kaku still quarantined after his World Cup qualifying stint with Paraguay, any concerns that the team would be missing their chief playmaker would be quickly dismissed as Jared Stroud stepped up and provided the offensive spark the team needed, assisting on the goal scored by Kyle Duncan.

Defense Rolling, But Surrenders A Goal - 350 minutes of not surrendering a goal in the run of play is a statistic that any defense would be proud of until Robert Beric's goal in the 51st minute, ending the streak.

The Cardiac Kid Strikes Again - For the second straight match, Brian White scores an equalizer deep into stoppage time to steal a point, this time on the road at a place where wins are very difficult to get. It's not the ideal situation, but anytime you can steal a point in that fashion, it's one that you just put in your back pocket and smile.


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