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LA Galaxy and Chicago Fire draw 2-2 in thriller

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MLS: LA Galaxy at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

In a entertaining back and forth contest, the LA Galaxy and the Chicago Fire drew 2-2 Wednesday night at Toyota Park.

With three games in seven days, LA rotated the lineup as all three DPs were absent from the starting 11.

The game was a slugfest in the midfield until Lletget executed a neat turn at the top of the box and shot into the path of Mike Magee, but Sean Johnson was able to save his re-direct from close range.

Things looked good for LA in the 31st minute when Gyasi Zardes scored off a play almost entirely created by Jelle Van Damme. The Galaxy center back marauded up the pitch, slicing right through the Fire’s midfield before slotting Mike Magee on the left flank, and his cross rebounded into the path of Zardes, who powered a low finish past Sean Johnson.

Minutes later, Chicago almost responded when David Accam got past a laboring AJ DeLaGarza, who needed treatment earlier after hurting his shoulder on a Brandon Vincent challenge, but Clement Diop, making his second MLS start, was there to make the stop.

And then, the Galaxy defense collapsed, giving up two goals in the space of five minutes. In the 34th minute, Michael de Leeuw managed to find himself free all alone in the box, and although the sharp Diop closed down the angle and stuffed his header, Arturo Alvarez took advantage of an open net to smash home the rebound.

Soon afterwards, it was Van Damme who would commit a sloppy foul on Luis Solignac inside the box, gifting Chicago a penalty kick. Dip guessed right, but Accam’s low shot nestled inside the right goalpost.

The second half began with LA dodging a few bullets. First Accam got on the end of a long ball and beat the onrushing Diop from distance, but after squaring to Solignac with just Jelle Van Damme to beat in front of a gaping net, he somehow skied his shot high of the post. Then Michael de Leeuw thought he had given the Fire a 3rd goal in the 59th minute off a Diop rebound, but the shot was whistled offsides.

Giovani dos Santos and Alan Gordon would eventually enter the match, and both subs would combine beautifully in the 69th minute to equalize for the Galaxy. Gordon made a direct run into the box and cut back a trickling cross that dos Santos ran onto and flicked past Johnson.

Chicago would respond. In the 77th minute, John Goosens curved a cross into the onrushing David Accam, but he blew a promising chance in front of an open net. Minutes later, the excellent Diop made a point-blank save on Accam once again as LA skated on thin ice.

Mike Magee had his chances late but wasn’t able to capitalize, and the Galaxy would hold on to secure a vital road point.