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MLS Game Summary - Chicago at Columbus



(Saturday, April 25, 2009)

From The Sports Network

Final Score: Columbus 2, Chicago 2

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Brian McBride and Gonzalo Segares scored in the final five minutes as the Chicago Fire rallied for a 2-2 tie against the 10-man Columbus Crew on Saturday at Crew Stadium.

Chicago (2-0-4) improved its season-opening unbeaten streak to six matches - a first in franchise history - and moved back atop the Eastern Conference.

The Fire, who trailed by two goals at halftime, rallied after Columbus defender Gino Padula was ejected. McBride scored his league-high fifth goal in the 86th, and Segares added the match-tying goal in the 88th.

Columbus (0-2-4), which won the MLS Cup under ex-coach Sigi Schmid last season, remained winless in its first six matches under new coach Robert Warzycha. Chad Marshall and Alejandro Moreno scored for the Crew.

Reigning MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who was off to a weird start with three goals and no assists in five matches, just missed his fourth goal of the season in the opening 10 minutes. He struck a nice turning volley, but Chicago goalie Jon Busch tipped the ball over the crossbar.

Schelotto continued to create, and nearly forced Chicago defender Logan Pause into an own goal minutes later. Schelotto tried to send a ball into the box and Pause headed to clear, but the ball sailed by Busch and off the left post.

Columbus broke through in the 25th minute when Schelotto picked out Marshall on a free kick. Schelotto bent the pass into the far side of the penalty area, and Marshall headed back inside the right post past a diving Busch.

Moreno had a great individual effort in the 34th minute to push the Crew's edge to two goals. With Busch waiting to a pick up a slow rolling ball on the side of the area, Moreno sneaked in and tapped the ball off his fingertips. Moreno then did well to get to the ball near the end line, tap it by a sprawling Busch again, dribble around a defender and score into the right side.

Marshall and Moreno combined for 16 goals last year - including the postseason - but were scoreless in their first eight combined appearances this season.

Chicago did not do much for the first 55 minutes but was handed a lifeline in the 57th when Padula got a red card after a foul on Cuauhtemoc Blanco. Although the foul didn't seem to be that bad, the card was immediately shown, and Blanco stayed down on the ground in pain.

Chicago's chances were still limited, though, with John Thorrington's blast in the 67th - which was cleared by the Crew's Eric Brunner - one of the few decent shots until the final minutes..

The Fire, who scored 10 goals through their first five matches and led the MLS in scoring, finally cut the deficit in half in the 86th minute when McBride got under a cross from Patrick Nyarko to head the ball into the right side from the edge of the six-yard box.

Segares, who picked up the second assist on McBride's goal, notched the tying goal two minutes later after a quick passing combo from Chris Rolfe and Tim Ward. Rolfe and Ward made two quick passes on the edge of the area, with Ward dropping the ball off to Segares outside the top of the box.

Segares hit the ball first-time and it swerved past Andy Gruenebaum, who played in place of injured starter Wil Hesmer, and into the left side.

Columbus will try to end its season-long winless skid on May 2 when it visits Toronto FC. Chicago will try to extend its undefeated run when it hosts Seattle Sounders FC on May 2.

04/25 21:23:19 ET