Looking Back: The 2012 Chicago Fire, Philadelphia Union Series
Game #1 - Chicago Fire 1, Philadelphia Union 0 - March 24, 2012 at Toyota Park
In the Fire's 2012 home opener, the team received its first win of the year by virute of Dominic Oduro's headed goal off a Marco Pappa cross in the 28th minute. Pappa nearly made it 2-0 in the 67th when his uncharacteristic right-footed effort pinged off the Philadelphia cross bar.
Into the final 10 minutes, the Fire rode the back of surrogate goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi who made two big saves on Union defender Gabriel Gomez late to preserve the team's 1-0 victory.
WATCH: The Centerback
Game #2 - Chicago Fire 3, Philadelphia Union 1 - August 12, 2012 at PPL Park
Nearly five months after their first meeting of the season, the Fire traveled to Philadelphia in August with hopes of snapping the Union's five-match home unbeaten streak.
This match should in part be remembered for the heroic efforts of Logan Pause who suffered a partially collapsed lung and broken ribs after a 25th minute collision with Bakary Soumare. The Fire captain continued playing with the injury for nearly 20 minutes before being substituted just before halftime.
As for the scoring, Philadelphia took the early lead, capitalizing on Freddy Adu's 35th minute cross which took an awkward bounce and saw defender Jalil Anibaba score an own goal.
Making his first start for the Men in Red, Sherjill MacDonald would lead the comeback in the 43rd minute when he breezed past Soumare on the right and centered for Chris Rolfe who coolly finished for the equalizer.
Fire defender Arne Friedrich would tally his first goal for the Men in Red, heading home Marco Pappa's corner kick in first half stoppage time to take the Fire into the break up 2-1.
Rolfe would ice the game just after halftime as Patrick Nyarko fed him towards the box on the right before unleashing a right-footed blast past Zac MacMath in the 56th.
READ: Baky Back in Chicago
Game #3 - Philadelphia Union 3, Chicago Fire 1 - October 3, 2012 at Toyota Park
As the Fire looked to celebrate the club's 15th anniversary by clinching a playoff berth, the Union thoughts of payback for their two earlier losses on the season.
Philadelphia handed the Fire an early blow as Danny Cruz slipped Jack McInerney through to beat Sean Johnson in the seventh minute.
The Fire nearly equalized in the 19th minute but saw Daniel Paladini's free kick come off the right post.
The Union doubled their lead when second-half substitute Gabriel Gomez pulled off a fantastic finish to the upper 90 off a flick from McInerney in the 67th minute.
Feeling the heat, the Fire responded almost immediately as Patrick Nyarko laid off for Dominic Oduro who slid his slow-rolling effort inside MacMath's right post.
The Fire's push for an equalizer took a serious blow late as Guillermo Franco went in for a clumsy challenge on Union defender Brian Carroll, forcing referee Abby Okulaja to show the former Mexican international red in the 79th minute.
With the Fire pushing forward the Union would shut the door on the hosts when Antoine Hoppenot back-heeled into an open Fire goal in the 87th minute.