Djordje Mihailovic scores late to give Fire 2-2 tie with Sporting Kansas City

Djordje Mihailovic scores late to give Fire 2-2 tie with Sporting Kansas City

Fire midfielder Ignacio Aliseda controls the ball against Sporting Kansas City defenders during Saturday’s match. | Courtesy of the Fire

The Fire have endured a difficult four days. Saturday’s draw with Sporting Kansas City ended things on a positive note.

The Fire have endured a difficult four days. Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City ended things on a positive note.

Trailing 2-1 just before the final whistle, the Fire’s Mauricio Pineda hit a hopeful long ball that Djordje Mihailovic got to before Sporting goalie Tim Melia, scoring on an open net.

On Wednesday, the Fire traveled to the Twin Cities to face Minnesota United. Per travel protocols, the Fire flew to Minnesota on Wednesday morning, only to have the match postponed a little over an hour before the scheduled kickoff due to a suspected MNUFC COVID-19 positive case. The Fire then flew back that evening, having gone to and from Minnesota in one day despite not playing a match.

Though the match is expected to be rescheduled, no makeup date has been announced.

Saturday’s match, meanwhile, represented a chance for the Fire to keep pace in the Eastern playoff race after entering the day 11th in the conference but having played one fewer game than 10th-place Atlanta or Montreal in ninth. They also had a chance to win for the fourth straight time at home for the first time since a nine-game run from April 8-Aug. 5, 2017.

The Fire didn’t extend that run at Soldier Field, but managed to grab a point despite falling behind in the 83rd minute on Gadi Kinda’s goal off a Sporting Kansas City corner.

Sporting took a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute on Erik Hurtado’s score. Pineda, playing in the midfield for the first time since March 7, gave the ball away to Kinda, who slid the ball to Hurtado and outran the Fire’s Wyatt Omsberg before beating Bobby Shuttleworth.

In the 45th minute, Robert Beric was awarded a goal after review. Beric’s try was cleared off the line by Kansas City’s Amadou Dia and originally not counted, but the score was given following a second look.

NOTE: It was announced Saturday that the Supporters’ Shield, given annually to the team with the best regular-season record, will not be awarded this year. The decision was made by the Supporters’ Shield Foundation, which said in a statement “with the inability for supporters to be in attendance and fill their stadiums with passion, we feel as though the current climate goes against the spirit of the Shield.”

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