MLS: Chicago Fire at D.C. United

Chicago Fire forward Quincy Amarikwa (24) races DC United midfielder Perry Kitchen (23) for the ball during the second half at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. (Brad Mills / USA Today Sports / March 29, 2014)

Despite falling short in picking up the first victory of the young season, Chicago Fire coach Frank Yallop saw many positives Saturday against D.C. United and was encouraged by earning a crucial point on the road.

But for the third consecutive game, the Fire scored an early goal but could not hold the lead in a 2-2 tie in wet, slippery conditions at RFK Stadium.

Quincy Amarikwa's strike in the 82nd minute salvaged the draw for the Fire, which is 0-1-3 this season. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado also scored for Chicago.

Despite allowing two goals, Fire goalie Sean Johnson came up huge with six saves, including several from point-blank range.

"From going up and going down in the game, 2-1, and getting a point, obviously, you have to take some positive out of it," Yallop said. "I don't think we played particularly well, for us.

Pretty even game. We had some nice chances late, but so did D.C. I think a draw was a fair result."

D.C. United (0-2-1) controlled the early part of the game and created several dangerous chances, but it was the Fire which managed to capitalize.

After winning a corner kick on a counter in the 27th minute, Harry Shipp found Hurtado, who soared above two defenders to head the ball into the upper corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead.

Once again, however, the Fire allowed an equalizer when D.C. United's Fabian Espindola found the lower part of the goal on a free kick in the 35th minute.

The goal was set up after Greg Cochrane fouled Eddie Johnson just outside the penalty area. It was D.C. United's first goal in three games this season. The Fire was outshot, 9-4, in the first half.

"It's the third straight game we got points," Amarikwa said. "That's how you got to look at it. Not dropping points, especially on the road, is huge in this league. If you look at teams in this league that make the playoffs, they don't lose. They at least get a tie."

As the conditions continued to deteriorate with the steady rain, both teams struggled to put together effective scoring chances in the second half.

Patrick Nyarko had a couple of dangerous chances, but the Fire could not capitalize.

D.C. United made the Fire pay when substitute Perry Kitchen knocked in close-range shot in the middle of a scrum in front of the goal.

"I thought it was a bit unfortunate, the second goal there," Johnson said. "It sort of pin-balled around the box there. I thought we had some similar situations when we had the ball in their box but things didn't fall our way.

"That's soccer. I think we've done well. At the end of the day, we got a point."

Amarikwa answered for the Fire nine minutes later when he one-timed a pass from Patrick Nyarko, who pushed the ball through the legs of a defender to create the chance.

"Whenever Pat gets the ball wide, I know to get near post because he's always beating his defender and putting good service in the box," Amarikwa said.

"Today was no different. I made my run, circled back around and put it on frame. That was it."

Johnson came up big in the closing seconds with a diving stop against Nick DeLeron.

NOTES: Fire defender Lovel Palmer was out of the lineup, serving the second of his two-game suspension. ... Defender Gonzalo Segares was held out of the lineup again because of knee and ankle injuries. ... Chicago extended D.C. United's winless streak to 15 games, dating to last season and eclipsing the club record 13-game losing streak. ... Chicago forward Mike Magee, the 2013 MLS MVP, played the full 90 minutes for the second straight game.