LAST-PLACE UNION CHOKE IT AWAY, WILL THEY EVER WIN AGAIN?

By Jenny Masters

Hugo Cuypers’ brace in the final eight-plus minutes lifted the Chicago Fire who erased a two-goal deficit and beat the visiting Union 4-3.

Chris Donovan, Daniel Gazdag and Jack McGlynn scored in an 11-minute span bridging the halves that provided a 3-1 cushion for Philadelphia (4-9-8, 20 points). But a second straight late collapse — the Union conceded two markers after the 88th minute in a 4-2 loss at CF Montreal on Saturday — sent Philadelphia to its fifth consecutive defeat.

The Union are 0-5-3 in their past eight fixtures.

In a matchup of sides desperately seeking wins to move up the Eastern playoff table, the Fire made the Union concede first via an authoritative run down the right side from Allan Arigoni.

His pass into the box was deflected by a defender and Haile-Selassie claimed it at point-blank range, chipping it over prone goalie Oliver Semmle in the 30th minute. It was Haile-Selassie’s fourth straight match with a goal.

However, Chicago’s leaky defense couldn’t protect the lead for long. Leon Flach teed up Donovan for the equalizer in the 38th minute via service into the box. Donovan’s deflection to the right post left goalie Chris Brady helpless.

The Union took the lead in the seventh minute of first-half stoppage time. Brady was shown a yellow card after committing a foul in the box, and Gazdag converted from the spot for a 2-1 halftime advantage.

McGlynn made it 3-1 in the 49th minute when he blistered a left-footed shot past a diving Brady that banged off the left post, then the right before crossing the goal line.

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