Fire

Fire blow two-goal lead in draw at LA

Through 45 minutes it appeared the Chicago Fire were going to cruise to a first road win of 2017.

However, the LA Galaxy scored on a pair of corner kicks in the second half to rally for a 2-2 draw at the StubHub Center on Saturday.

David Accam was the creator of both of the Fire’s goals. He weaved into the box in the 11th minute and set up Nemanja Nikolic open in the box. Nikolic’s first touch got away from him, but he was able to win the race to the loose ball and was tripped by Jelle Van Damme for a penalty kick. Accam converted from the penalty to give the Fire (3-3-3, 12 points) its first road lead of the year.

Four minutes later Accam got an assist to go with his goal when he hit Nikolic in stride on a counterattack. Nikolic scored on his first touch for his sixth goal of the season.

LA (2-5-2, 8 points) didn’t have a shot on goal in the first half and hadn’t scored in its previous two matches, but was able to get back in the match from corner kicks.

Daniel Steres’ glancing header following a corner kick in the 56th minute got LA on the board. Nine minutes later Giovani Dos Santos tied the match by sliding in to finish a Dave Romney flick header following a corner kick. Those were LA’s only two shots on target, meaning the Galaxy didn’t put a shot on target from open play.

The Fire nearly went back ahead with a Luis Solignac header later in the half, but Brian Rowe was able to get a hand on it and push it onto the crossbar. Nikolic also put the ball in the net in the 94th minute, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Coach Veljko Paunovic made two changes in the starting lineup. Both goalkeeper Jorge Bava and right back Michael Harrington were benched for the first time this season. Matt Lampson, who made 11 starts last season, started in goal and was not credited with a save. Drew Conner played at right back in his first career start. Conner was replaced by Jonathan Campbell in the 75th minute.

The Fire finished the three-game road trip with one point. Next Saturday the Fire return home to play the Seattle Sounders.