Talk about leaving it late. Frank Klopas’ Chicago Fire kept their MLS Cup Playoff hopes alive heading into the final week of regular season action on Saturday in a thrilling 2-1 victory over Ben Olsen’s D.C. United at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
“It was one of the toughest losses I have ever taken,” Olsen told reporters after the match. “[I told the team] I was proud of them, it was a good effort. “
Neither team was able to get on the score sheet for a good deal of the match until the 90th minute, when Dwayne De Rosario scored his 15th goal of the season, tying him for the lead with San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski.
In the second minute of stoppage time, Sebastian Grazzini pulled home the equalizer for his fifth goal of the season. Just when it was about to be a 1-1 draw for D.C., Uruguayan international Diego Chaves scored his fifth goal of the season off a sequence by Gonzalo Segares and Orr Barouch.
“It’s not good when you don’t have your destiny in your own hands, and we’re looking for other teams to lose and win,” said midfielder Santino Quaranta. “This was a great opportunity for us tonight, but we’ll battle on and continue to fight.”
“I thought throughout the game we played well. We pushed the game [and] we had opportunities,” Klopas added. “We created some good chances. You kind of feel bad a little bit for [D.C.], but that’s how the game is. For us, it was a great comeback and a great feeling and I’m proud of our guys. “
With the victory, Chicago improved to 8-9-16 (40 points) and are three points behind the New York Red Bulls, who hold the final wild card playoff spot. As for D.C. United, they can officially think about next season after falling to 9-12-11 (38 points).
The Fire wrap up their regular season in a must-win game against the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium, while D.C. end another sorry year at home against Sporting Kansas City. Both matches will take place on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011.
Keep it right here on Bleacher Report for continuing coverage of the 2011 Major League Soccer season.