Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union, 2012 MLS: Final score 1-3, Fire dealt blow in 2nd straight loss

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Fire followed up their loss to Sporting with another loss, this one to the dreadful Union.

Last Friday, the Chicago Fire were playing for first place in the Eastern Conference. But the Fire lost that match, and after a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night, they are now struggling just to keep pace in the race for home-field advantage in the postseason.

Wednesday's contest was Chicago's match in hand. Now they no longer have that are are still tied for second place with New York, but trailing on goals scored. The Fire are also just two points clear of D.C., which leaves them in the fight for a wild card round bye.

It took just seven minutes for Philadelphia to go in front. Danny Cruz's through ball played Jack McInerney in on goal. From there, it was a simple finish by McInerney and the Union had the lead.

Despite hitting the post not long after, Chicago didn't inspire a ton of confidence. They were at home against a dreadful team and not really getting too much on the front foot.

Chicago's night got even worse in the 67th minute when McInerney headed on for Gabriel Gomez, whose shot beat Sean Johnson to double the visitors' lead. They were down 2-0 and had just over 20 minutes left.

Gomez's goal appeared to finally wake Chicago up. Two minutes later, Dominic Oduro poked a shot past Zac MacMath to cut the Union's lead in half.

But just when Chicago appeared to get back in the match, they shot themselves in the foot. Guillermo Franco was sent off with 11 minutes remaining for a bad tackle and the Fire's dream was dead.

Just for good measure, Philadelphia added one more goal in the 86th minute. Michael Farfan fed Antoine Hoppenot, whose cheeky back heel put a bow on a fine match for the Union.

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