Philadelphia Union fell to Chicago Fire 3-2 on Sunday night at Toyota Park in front of a crowd of 17,616.
Chicago created the Fire early with a goal in the third minute of play. Chicago defender Brandon Vincent sent in a ball from just beyond the Fire 18 that took a friendly hop and landed in the path of MLS league-leading goal-scorer Nemanja Nikolić.
Nikolić was able to slip by Union defender Jack Elliott and control possession of the ball in stride. After a couple of steps, Nikolić took his shot and slipped it past 2016 Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake to give Chicago the 1-0 lead in the third minute of play.
The Union wasted little time finding their equalizer, as moments later pressure from the Philadelphia attack was too much for Chicago. After Fafa Picault send a pass across the field to Alejandro Bedoya, the Captain sent in a smooth pass in the box for Union leading goal-scorer CJ Sapong. Sapong was able to slip past the Fire defense and connect on a shot that was on frame, but Chicago defender Johan Kappelhof made a last minute effort to clear the ball, and instead, it deflected into the net. The ruling was an own goal and the match was tied at one in the sixth minute of play.
In the 13 minute, Philadelphia took the lead at Toyota Park and again it was Bedoya creating havoc for Chicago. The play was set up by Bosnian international Haris Medunjanin as he lobbed in a pass into the box. Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson came charging after the pass attempt, and found himself all alone with Bedoya, but the Captain jumped in the air and swung with his right foot while striking the ball off the turf. Bedoya’s chipped effort beat Lampson and gave Philadelphia the 2-1 lead in the 13th minute.
The Union were able to hang on to their lead until the 64th minute when Nikolić converted a penalty kick after Chicago was awarded an opportunity from the spot. Nikolić snuck one past Blake to tie the match at two, and he would go on to complete his hat trick in the 78th minute. Accam and Vincent set up Nikolić, who completed in his game-winning effort, giving Chicago the 3-2 victory.
Philadelphia will be back in action next Sunday when they host Orlando City at Talen Energy Stadium. Next Sunday will be the final match for the Union in 2017.