BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The top two goalscorers in MLS traded punches before a Homegrown rookie landed the final blow Saturday night, as Maxim Tissot’s late header salvaged a 2-2 draw for the Montreal Impact against the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park.
Star striker Marco Di Vaio also scored his league-leading 19th goal of the season for the Impact (13-9-7), who snatched a point from a precarious spot after they coughed up a first-half lead.
Chicago’s Mike Magee scored two goals in the second half to bring his season total to 18, but missed a crucial penalty kick in the 79th minute that would have given him his second hat trick of the season and likely sealed three huge points for the Fire in their push to reach the postseason.
Instead the moment of the match belonged to Tissot, who scored his first goal of the year when he headed a deflected clearance inside the six-yard box to the far post in the 87th minute.
Montreal remain in third place in the Eastern Conference with 46 points with the result, while the Fire (11-12-7) sit in seventh, two points back of the final playoff spot.
Di Vaio opened the scoring in the 25th minute, when he maneuvered in between defenders Austin Berry and Gonzalo Segares before Davy Arnaud found him with a pinpoint pass.
Magee almost leveled seven minutes later when his free kick from 25 yards screamed past the post. Dilly Duka served Magee a cross in the 44th minute, but Magee's shot was blocked by Arnaud.
Magee's 53rd minute corner kick found Fire midfielder Arevalo Rios for an open header, but his shot went straight to goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
After switching to a diamond midfield formation in the second half, with Alex coming in for Logan Pause in the middle and Chris Rolfe out wide for Duka, the Fire began to create more chances offensively.
In the 57th minute, that offensive possession turned into production when Alex received a pass from Rolfe and took a shot, which was deflected to Magee on the back post. Magee easily tipped a shot past Perkins.
In the 73rd minute, Perkins received a pass back, and as Magee charged toward him, he stole the ball after grabbing a handful of Perkins' shirt and scored on an open goal.
Magee clanked his fateful penalty kick off the crossbar six minutes later after Patrick Nyarko was taken down in the box by Perkins.
The Fire return to action next Friday on the road against D.C. United, while the Impact host the Houston Dynamo the same night.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Mike Magee||Could have been a historic, MVP-making kind of night. But now will it go down as the night Chicago died?|
|2||Maxim Tissot||Right place, right time, It's never a bad night when you end up stealing the headlines from Di Vaio and Magee.|
|3||Jeb Brovsky||Solid first half for the Impact youngster and good after the break too. Impressive stuff.|