A third brace of the season from Kei Kamara was not enough to earn a win for Columbus Crew SC on Friday night, as the Chicago Fire scored a 94th-minute equalizer to stun the home team at MAPFRE Stadium.
The last-minute goal came as part of a late Fire onslaught after Crew SC dominated most of the game, leaving the home team regretting several missed opportunities throughout the match.
Kamara opened the scoring in the eighth minute in typical fashion, stroking home a professional finish from lightning-quick buildup play.
Justin Meram started the sequence with a quick turn near the top of the box, slipping a pass through the Chicago defense to a darting Ethan Finlay out wide, who put a ball directly to the foot of the waiting Kamara. The forward tapped it past helpless goalkeeper Jon Busch, who was making his 300th MLS regular season appearance in a meeting with his former club.
Chicago couldn't find a response to the Kamara goal, failing to produce any quality in the Columbus third.
Crew SC seemed content with the lead, however, and couldn't replicate their usual fluid pass-and-move play. With inexperienced midfielder Kevan George anchoring the offense in the center of the pitch, Columbus relied heavily on long balls and were caught offside more often than they produced dangerous plays.
But that mentality wouldn't carry over into the second stanza. Columbus came roaring out of the locker room, creating several chances to open the half.
Kamara would earn his third brace of the season in those opening minutes, this time from a set piece.
Federico Higuain delivered an outswinging corner kick to the head of George, who redirected the ball across the six-yard box perfectly for Kamara to thump a header past Busch for the striker's second of the night.
Crew SC's second goal seemed to spark the Fire to life. Just moments after the Columbus goal, Chicago used their speed to their advantage. Kennedy Igboananike flew up the left side and crossed a deflected ball to Accam, who calmly nodded the ball into the opposite corner, leaving Clark rooted to his spot to bring the Fire within one.
Chicago had a plethora of chances to draw level toward the end of the match, with substitute Quincy Amarikwa coming close on two occasions just moments apart. But a mis-hit finish and a last-second sliding block from Michael Parkhurst denied the forward and preserved the Crew SC lead.
But the Fire would find their equalizer in the 94th minute.
Former Crew SC defender Eric Gehrig launched a last-ditch cross toward the six-yard box, and substitute Jason Johnson nodded a well-placed header past Clark to leave Columbus without a chance to respond.
The draw was the second in a row for Chicago (3-5-2) and Columbus's first at home this season (4-4-3).