The home side began impressively, with a goal in the 11th minute. Djordje Mihailovic notched his first goal of the season for the beleaguered Chicago Fire, who have had a difficult start this year. Less than five minutes later, his Fire teammate Robert Berić grabbed a second, after a free-kick by Mihailovic and a cross from Fabian Herbers. Unfortunately for the Fire, Mihailovic came off injured just 22 minutes into the match.
Columbus Crew started brightly in the second half, forcing Bobby Shuttleworth into a multiple dramatic saves against a Chicago team seemingly content to sit back and try to defend the lead. But the seeds of the comeback began to sprout in the 68th minute when Fatai Alashe scored off an assist from Zardes.
And in the face of strong pressure, Chicago could not maintain the lead. With time ticking away, Zardes equalized in the 88th minute. The US men's national team striker capitalized on a deflected shot and managed to turn it around for the equalizer, ensuring Columbus stayed top in the Eastern Conference.
- 11' - Djordje Mihailovic - CHI | WATCH
- 14' - Robert Berić - CHI | WATCH
- 68' - Fatai Alashe - CLB | WATCH
- 88' - Gyasi Zardes - CLB | WATCH
THE BIG PICTURE: This match shows that Columbus Crew is ready to go all the way, that they are ready to fight for both the Supporters' Shield and the MLS Cup. Sure, it's early in the season, but the Crew have a three-point lead over Toronto in the battle for top spot in the Eastern Conference and the Supporters' Shield race.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: When Fatai Alashe scored the first goal for Columbus Crew. The ball came off the corner, Gyasi Zardes headed it on, and (amid a bit of confusion) Alashe knocked it into the net to get the Crew back into the game.
MAN OF THE MATCH: It must be Gyasi Zardes, who showed a clinical edge to bring the Crew back from a 2-0 deficit into a 2-2 tie that earned his side a point. He first made a clever use of a header to set up Alashe for the Crew's first goal and then scored the late equalizer to ensure his team remains top of the East.
- CHI: Saturday, Sept. 19 at Orlando City SC (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, WGN-TV)
- CLB: Saturday, September 19 vs Nashville SC (7:30pm ET | ESPN+, FOX Sports GO, Fox Sports Ohio)