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posted: 9/29/2013 12:01 AM

Fire snatches tie from the jaws of victory

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  • Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee celebrates his goal during the second half of an MLS soccer game against the Montreal Impact Saturday in Bridgeview. The Fire and Impact tied 2-2.

      Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee celebrates his goal during the second half of an MLS soccer game against the Montreal Impact Saturday in Bridgeview. The Fire and Impact tied 2-2.
    Associated Press

  • Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee, left, scores past Montreal Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins during the second half of the matchup Saturday in Bridgeview, Ill. The Fire and Impact tied 2-2.

      Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee, left, scores past Montreal Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins during the second half of the matchup Saturday in Bridgeview, Ill. The Fire and Impact tied 2-2.
    Associated Press

 
 

If the Fire had its way, MLS games would end after 85 minutes.

For the third time in September, a late goal allowed cost the Fire desperately needed standings points. This time it was Maxim Tissot's 87th minute goal following a deflected Fire clearance that forced the Fire to settle for a 2-2 draw against Montreal at Toyota Park.

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"Another one, just like Seattle and Houston," said defender Gonzalo Segares, visibly frustrated. "It's a game we could have put away. We didn't, we let them stay around. And same thing."

With four games remaining in the regular season, the Fire sits in seventh place, 2 points out of the fifth and final Eastern Conference playoff berth.

Tissot's goal wasn't the only source of frustration for the Chicago side. Mike Magee, who had the Fire's 2 goals, both in the second half, knocked a 78th-minute penalty kick off the crossbar that would have given the Fire a 3-1 lead. Instead the Fire, playing without suspended central defender Bakary Soumare, tried to protect a 1-goal lead and again gave up valuable points.

"It's easy because you look at it and say, 3-1, it's over, but we're still winning at that point 2-1," coach Frank Klopas said. "Yeah, you have a little bit of a cushion ... but you still have to find ways to close the game out."

"It won't be the last one I miss," said Magee, who has 18 goals on the season. "I feel confident taking them. I'll bury the next one, but that's a situation where I've got to put that away for the team."

The Fire almost scored again in the 82nd minute, but Juan Luis Anangono hit the right post with a shot, and Montreal defender Hassoun Camara saved Magee's shot off the goal line seconds later.

"We don't put teams away offensively, and then we don't close them out defensively," Segares said. "It's just a bad mixture. Everyone thinks the guys are not working hard. We're busting our (butts) and somehow we always seem to be trying to climb the ladder one goal behind. We put our hearts out to come back, and to give it away again is just heartbreaking."

The Fire heads to last-place D.C. United on Friday.

"There's not enough time to cry or feel bad for ourselves," Magee said. "We've got four games left, and we're going to make the playoffs."

•Follow Orrin on Twitter @orrin_schwarz

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