Fire claims draw with Union as Pardo scores in debutAug 4, 2011 - 3:09 AM Bridgeview, IL (Sports Network) - Pavel Pardo's Major League Soccer debut was a success as the former Mexico international scored a second-half equalizer to help the Chicago Fire claim a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union at Toyota Park on Wednesday.
The 35-year-old Pardo was signed just over a week ago by Chicago, and after the Union claimed the lead in the 34th minute through Veljko Paunovic, Pardo was in the right place at the right time to bury the equalizer nine minutes after the break.
Philadelphia has now won just once in its last five games, but is only two points back of the top spot in the Eastern Conference, while wins continue to elude the Fire as the club has drawn five of its last seven games with two defeats.
Neither side got much done offensively in the first 30 minutes, but the Union suddenly went in front in the 34th when a deflected pass in the final third fell to Paunovic 30 yards from goal. He took a touch and then lashed a left- footed shot past Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who watched the ball sail just inside the left post.
Patrick Nyarko's volley from 20 yards went close as Chicago tried to answer, but Nyarko helped to set up the tying goal early in the second half.
He carried the ball down the right wing and drove a low cross to the near post for Dominic Oduro. Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon came across, but the ball was redirected back to the top of the penalty area to Pardo, who smacked his shot inside the left post with Mondragon out of position.
The Union came close to regaining the lead just a few minutes later when a free kick from Roger Torres found the head of Carlos Valdes a few yards from goal, but he nodded the ball over the net.
Chicago was the more dangerous team over the final 30 minutes and the Union needed some nice work from Mondragon in goal to preserve a point.
Oduro got loose inside the area near the hour mark but had his low shot kept out by Mondragon before the Union 'keeper thwarted another effort from Oduro after he was played into the box alone by Marco Pappa.
- PHILADELPHIA: 1
Aug 3 10:58 PM
- Chicago Goal - Pardo (1) 54th minute
Union 1, Fire 1 1st - 35'Aug 3 10:19 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 1
Aug 3 9:53 PM
- Philadelphia Goal - Paunovic (2) 34th minute
Union 1, Fire 0 1st - 10'Aug 3 9:44 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 0
1st Half - 44'
Aug 3 9:08 PM
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