Matters were heading in another direction until Chicago winger Przemyslaw Frankowski found an equalizer in the 94th minute. He calmly brushed home an Aleksandar Katai cross that trickled across the 18-yard box, robbing Columbus of all three points.
The Crew controlled much of the first half and broke the deadlock in the 27th minute, as Pedro Santos pinged home a 25-yard shot past Chicago goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm. The Portuguese midfielder collected a squared pass inside his defensive half, then dribbled unchallenged before supplying the finish.
Until the late goal, it was a night of wayward finishing for Chicago. Columbus goalkeeper Eloy Room went full extension in the 10th minute to rob Frankowski on a curled attempt, and Nico Gaitan skied a golden chance in the 51st minute from 10 yards out.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Columbus and Chicago each have just four games left in their regular season and chances to make the playoffs are fading. But the late Frankowski strike might have saved Chicago’s campaign, as they end the night on 34 points and just four back of the seventh and final Eastern Conference playoff slot. Columbus is on 31 points and has a lot of ground to make up.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Frankowski’s late equalizer is the obvious choice here, as it gave Chicago a desperately-needed point. The Fire poured on late pressure and looked to be leaving empty-handed, then the Polish winger stepped up.
- MAN OF THE MATCH. Santos gets the nod for his picture-perfect strike, though one has to wonder where the Chicago pressure is. Santos has admirably filled in for the injured Federico Higuain, and he now has 10 goals and five assists on the year.