D.C. United drew 2-2 with Chicago Fire FC in their 14th match of the 2021 Major League Soccer (MLS) Regular Season. United found themselves down by two goals in the final minutes of the match, but a goal by Kevin Paredes and a penalty kick shortly after by Ola Kamara helped the Black-and-Red earn an important point on the road and push their record to 5-7-2 with 17 points earned on the season.
D.C. United started with Bill Hamid in net and Andy Najar, Frederic Brillant, and Tony Alfaro in the back three and Joseph Mora and Julian Gressel starting as the two wingbacks. Moses Nyeman, Junior Moreno, and Yamil Asad started in the midfield and Ola Kamara and Nigel Robertha partnered up-top as the two forwards.
D.C. United had a number of good opportunities to score in the first half, but were unable to break through. Julian Gressel orchestrated the play all half and nearly found an assist on two separate occasions. The first came when he sliced open the Chicago defense with a clever ball that put Nigel Robertha through on goal, but his attempt was narrowly saved by the Chicago goalkeeper. Towards the end of the half, Gressel drove down to the end line and cut a pass back to Yamil Asad on the edge of the box, but his first-time effort curled just wide. Chicago scored the lone goal of the first half against the run of play in the 32nd minute when Gaston Gimenez converted a header into the bottom right corner. D.C. United went into halftime trailing 1-0.
United nearly found the equalizer in the 53rd minute when Ola Kamara’s cross found Yordy Reyna whose shot was saved by the goalkeeper from in-close. The resulting rebound fell to Junior Moreno, but his curled shot was blocked by a Chicago Fire defender just off the line. The Fire doubled their lead in the 61st minute when a cross from the left wing took an unfortunate deflection off Andy Najar and found its way into the net. D.C. United started their comeback in the 83rd minute when Yordy Reyna drove down the left wing and cut the ball back to Kevin Paredes, whose first-time shot cannoned in off the right post. United found the equalizing goal four minutes later when Ola Kamara calmly finished a penalty kick down the middle after Andy Najar drew a foul just inside the box. The final minutes went scoreless and the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
D.C. United made five second-half substitutions to help turn the match around, including Kevin Paredes, Yordy Reyna, Drew Skundrich, Griffin Yow, and Felipe Martins. Paredes and Reyna linked up to score the first goal, and Skundrich and Yow helped in the build-up that lead to United earning a penalty kick and the tying goal. Felipe came on as a substitute in the closing minutes of the match to help United hold on to the draw.
D.C. United’s next match is at home against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, July 25 at 8:00 PM ET. Tune into NBC Sports Washington, TeleXitos, and www.dcunited.com to watch the match.