Hamid makes clutch late saves to help D.C. United salvage draw in Chicago, clinch second place in East

The final frantic minutes of Saturday’s Eastern Conference showdown between D.C. United and the Chicago Fire looked like they would generate a goal. As the Fire pelted the D.C. goal with chance after chance, it seemed inevitable that the home team would find the goal to help them avoid the East wild card round.

Bill Hamid and Nick DeLeon had other ideas.

Hamid made a handful of world-class saves while DeLeon made the final, and most important stop by throwing himself in front of a goal-bound shot, to help D.C. United hold on for a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park on Saturday.

The draw helped D.C. United hold onto second place in the East, setting up a playoff semifinal series vs. the New York Red Bulls. The Chicago Fire will face the Houston Dynamo during the week in a one-game, wild card playoff at Toyota Park, with the winner taking on East No. 1 seed Sporting Kansas City in the semifinals.

Patrick Nyarko opened the scoring for the Fire with a first-half strike, but Lionard Pajoy delivered the equalizer in the second half. Both sides created plenty of chances for a winning goal, but a combination of bad finishing and outstanding goalkeeping kept the score 1-1.

Here are the match highlights:

What did you think of the match? Impressed with D.C. United’s unbeaten run to end the season? See the Fire being able to make a run at the final despite having to play a wild-card game? See Bill Hamid making his way back to the U.S. National Team mix?

Share your thoughts below.

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11 Responses to Hamid makes clutch late saves to help D.C. United salvage draw in Chicago, clinch second place in East

  1. wilyboy says:

    DeLeon threw his nut sack in the way. This team has more guts than a Chicago slaughter house.

  2. downintexas says:

    Wow, what a horrible problem the US has with this two keepers.

  3. Soccer Chica says:

    Wait, so who in the NBC editing room decided that a 10 minute long highlight video should not include D.C. United’s equalizer…? whoops.

  4. ThaDeuce says:

    Where is the ball in this photo?

  5. ThaDeuce says:

    nvrmind, was cropped out of screen.

  6. Tim F. says:

    I hope the first game between New York and DC is played November 4th in the EVENING to allow as much time for recovery from Sandy and Frankenstorm.

  7. AzTeXan says:

    Somebody tell Chicago that the goal is to put the ball IN the goal. My stomach hurts from laughing at that finishing. Fernandez’s side footed effort was just golden. He tried to place the ball in the corner and missed wide by six feet.

    • g says:

      The Fernandez shot was pretty bad, but it seems Chicago did about everything they could to do just that. Bill Hamid just got in the way.

    • Matt says:

      I hate to say it, but Fernandez was pretty bad in general. He has missed so many open looks over the past few games. He regularly gives the ball away with sloppy, lethargic passes. I think that Chicago may actually be better when he’s not on the field.

    • barnie says:

      that’s allright, hopefully we’ll c u in the semi’s. Fire will break dc’s back once again. Bring on Chavaz

  8. meowmix says:

    hamid was a beast that game