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David Accam burns Chicago Fire with last-minute winner for Philadelphia Union

Jul 11, 2018; Bridgeview, IL, USA; Philadelphia Union forward David Accam (7) celebrates after scoring a game winning goal against the Chicago Fire during the second half at Bridgeview Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill.  For three years, David Accam was arguably the most dangerous attacker on the Chicago Fire.

On Wednesday, in the worst slump of his Major League Soccer career, he busted out of his goalless streak and burned his former team at the same time. The Philadelphia Union beat the Fire 4-3 at Toyota Park thanks to Accam’s 95th-minute game-winner.

In one of the wildest finishes MLS could see this season, Accam scored a minute after Bastian Schweinsteiger appeared to rescue the Fire. Schweinsteiger headed in a goal off a corner kick in the 94th minute to tie the game before Accam stole the show.

“I needed this goal to get going,” Accam said. “For me, I’m so happy I got this goal, and it’s even much, much better because it came here in Chicago. Maybe I’m used to scoring goals here.”

The Union gave up the lead three times in the game before Accam’s late goal finally put away the match. Haris Medunjanin opened the scoring and Cory Burke scored twice (just before halftime and in the 73rd minute).

The Fire came back through a penalty kick from Nemanja Nikolic, which Aleksandar Katai drew. Katai then scored a goal of his own in the 69th minute.

 

It looked like Schweinsteiger salvaged a point for the Fire. Then Accam, who scored 33 goals in three years with the Fire, scored 83 seconds later. Accam dribbled past Fire defender Jorge Corrales, then curled a shot that tucked just inside the far post.

Accam raced away and took off his jersey in excitement. His exuberant celebration is no surprise given the situation, and that it came against his former team.

“I think every last minute winner is amazing,” Accam said. “Also my first goal this season and for me I’ve worked really hard. I think this goal will rank high in my career.”

Accam has made one start in the Union’s past 10 matches. He came off the bench Wednesday after Ilsinho left injured in the 17th minute.

“David did a lot of things good even in the first 10 games of the year where he started,” Union coach Jim Curtin said. “It just wasn’t on the score sheet so for him to get a goal tonight I think is huge. I hope it’s a big boost for his confidence. I know the whole group and coaching staff has had his back through this maybe scoring drought you call it, but this is a big way to break out and I’m really happy for him. He stuck with things. He’s worked hard in training to get back on the field and now puts in a performance where he gets the winner.”

For the Fire, it is another poor defensive performance. After giving up three in a loss at Vancouver on Saturday, the Fire gave up four to the Union in a big game in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Union leapfrogged the Fire into a tie with Montreal for the sixth and final playoff spot.

“Of course we made mistakes at the back and they punished us,” Fire defender Johan Kappelhof said. “That needs to get better. We are a professional soccer team. We need to have the desire to not make these kind of mistakes. We have to keep our head up. There is a game coming on Saturday. We can fix it on Saturday what we missed today.”

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