The New York Red Bulls didn’t put a shot on target for more than 87 minutes, but still managed to score two goals and leave Toyota Park with a draw on Sunday.
The Chicago Fire gave the Red Bulls an own goal in the first half and Bradley Wright-Phillips scored in the 90th minute to prevent the hosts from coming away with a win. David Accam and Matt Polster scored for the Fire in the 2-2 draw.
Polster’s own goal in the 16th minute gave the Red Bulls (9-9-5, 32 points) the lead before either team had registered a shot. Mike Grella crossed in a ball that seemed like it would be easy to deal with for goalkeeper Sean Johnson, but Polster slid to block the cross and knocked it into the goal.
“(Johnson) and I talked at halftime," Polster said. "It looked like Sean was going to have it, but then it kind of hung up there. So last second I went for it and just a little miscommunication. I didn’t hear anything, but I should have just cleared it myself. I think sometimes you have to take it into your own hands and just do it. I second-guessed myself and that’s on me.”
"Shot from Grella, I don’t think it was a cross," Johnson said. "I’m waiting on it skip through and collect. Polster comes, he sees the ball dying and tries to make a play on it and clears it out, but as a goalkeeper that’s the type of position when a shot is coming in you expect the ball is going to come through. I didn’t know Polster was going to come through and make a play on it so it’s OK. These things happen and at the end of the day you learn from plays like that with players in front of you."
The Fire (4-10-6, 18 points) tied things up in the 35th minute through David Accam. Accam got control of a loose ball in the New York half and dribbled to the edge of the box, where he unleashed a low shot which tucked just inside the post.
That was Accam’s fifth goal of the season, giving him sole possession of the team lead in goals scored. Recently traded forward Kennedy Igboananike was tied with Accam at four goals entering the match.
Polster was able to make up for the own goal in first-half added time. John Goossens curled in a cross from the right that found Polster open at the back post. Polster scored with a diving header, his first professional goal, to give the Fire the lead.
The two goals marked just the third time this season the Fire have scored more than a goal in an MLS game.
The Fire had done well to limit the touches of Wright-Phillips, but he converted his only big chance of the match by volleying in a Connor Lade cross. The Red Bulls had just two shots on target in the match.
"We dropped back too much and we allowed them to play," Accam said. "That was difficult for us because we were chasing the ball in the second half and we didn’t have enough energy to go forward. I think we should have played like we played in the first half. Keep pressuring them and trying to keep the ball in their half, but we didn’t do that.”
There were injuries on both sides. Key New York midfielder Dax McCarty and Fire defender Joao Meira both exited late in the first half. Meira had a hamstring strain.
The Fire’s next game is Saturday at Real Salt Lake.