Jul 27, 2013, 11:15 PM EST
Cameron Weaver scored Houston’s first goal from a forward since early May and Mike Magee grabbed yet another score as the Dynamo and Chicago Fire played to a 1-1 draw.
In a match with major implications for later in the season, two teams fighting for a spot in the playoff sector both battled hard but could do no more than share the points. With so much up for grabs, both teams will be relatively disappointed not to snatch all the spoils.
The game began possession-centric as neither team sat back but neither team wanted to risk conceding first either.
Bobby Boswell thought he had the opener in the 18th minute with a far-post header off a Corey Ashe cross, but the assistant referee’s flag went up. Replays showed Boswell was on, although Ricardo Clark may have been barely off next to Boswell.
Both teams were forced to make first-half injury substitutes. Houston’s Alex Driver suffered a right Achilles injury with Brad Davis coming on for his 300th MLS appearance earlier than Dominic Kinnear had hoped. Chicago were forced to sub defensive midfielder Alex after a yellow-card challenge from Giles Davis.
The Dynamo had another near-miss in first half stoppage time when a horribly lazy back-pass from Bakary Soumare almost gave Cameron Weaver an open net but Paolo Tornaghi came out well to smother the chance.
The first half ended scoreless, with little action on goal otherwise. Both teams had chances to build but not much otherwise.
In the second half, Houston came out with more determination and a more attacking sense, and developed many more chances early.
Chicago’s best chance of the match fell in the 58th minute when Jalil Anibaba sliced in a low cross to Joel Lindpere who skied it way over.
Weaver won the ball on the right wing at the mid line, and sent it across for Corey Ashe. Ashe sent the ball through for a streaking Brad Davis, who cut it back across the face of goal for Weaver who sidestepped it in.
The goal blasted the game wide open.
Houston’s lead didn’t last long as two minutes later Patrick Nyarko navigated traffic in the box to send it across the face from right to left and Magee was there for the tap-in. The goal from Magee is his seventh score in nine matches since joining Chicago in late May.
Chicago almost got a cheap goal when the ball deflected to Chris Rolfe on a breakaway but Tally Hall’s fantastic diving save kept the low shot out.
The Dynamo continued to pepper Chicago’s goal, but the Fire held well. In the 77th minute Boenik Garcia found Barnes who was smothered again by Tornaghi before being cleared. Then the 83rd minute saw a cutting bit of passing find substitute Jason Johnson but his open shot was saved by a diving Tornaghi.
Houston dominated possession the rest of the way but could not unlock the Chicago defense for a late winner.
The draw slots Houston back into the top-5 in the East after a quick dip down following New England’s win earlier in the day. For Chicago, they remain five points back of Houston for that final playoff spot, although there’s still plenty of time to make something happen.
Dec 7, 2013, 11:05 PM EST
We’ll know in the next few days:
Dec 7, 2013, 11:00 PM EST
Can the Gunners stretch their lead at the summit? Will Fulham stop the rot? Both games live on NBCSN:
Dec 7, 2013, 10:00 PM EST
Experience was key early, set pieces came back to haunt them, and nobody will remember how you lost.
Dec 7, 2013, 9:28 PM EST
A few take-aways from Sporting Kansas City’s side on the clubs’ MLS Cup triumph Saturday over Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park:
Dec 7, 2013, 9:01 PM EST
Both coaches said so after Saturday’s exciting match:
Dec 7, 2013, 8:35 PM EST
Sporting Kansas City’s center back scored a goal in the run of play and then nailed a beauty of a penalty kick:
Dec 7, 2013, 7:45 PM EST
Round-by-round as Sporting Kansas City wins MLS Cup 2013 in a 10-round penalty kick tiebreaker.
Dec 7, 2013, 7:35 PM EST
KANSAS CITY – After 10 rounds of penalty kicks, Major League Soccer has a 2013 champion.
Dec 7, 2013, 6:22 PM EST
NBC’s Arlo White and Graeme Le Saux break down Manchester City’s tie with Southampton on Saturday:
Dec 7, 2013, 5:19 PM EST
What a huge days for the Potters; hear what the club’s U.S. international right back has to say about it:
Dec 7, 2013, 4:20 PM EST
Obviously, this is also the coldest kickoff for an MLS championship match … by a long, long way, in fact:
Dec 7, 2013, 3:40 PM EST
RSL’s two injury doubts are ready, while Sporting rolls with the XI that got them to MLS Cup 2013.
Dec 7, 2013, 3:05 PM EST
Looking at how today’s match might play out from the visitors side:
Dec 7, 2013, 3:05 PM EST
Bayern stay four points above Bayern Leverkusen, who are now six above Dortmund in the Bundesliga table.
MLS Cup preview: Real Salt Lake meets Sporting Kansas City to decide Major League Soccer’s 18th championship
Dec 7, 2013, 3:00 PM EST
Two well-regarded American coaches, two super defenses and record cold temperatures are the dominant sub-plots:
Dec 7, 2013, 2:47 PM EST
Shocks results steal the limelight but there’s also big wins for Palace, Spurs and Liverpool in a busy day of action:
Dec 7, 2013, 2:27 PM EST
Spurs put in dominant display as AVB’s men continue their resurgence by slaying bottom club Sunderland:
Dec 7, 2013, 2:13 PM EST
FIFA have changed the times of six World Cup fixtures, including the scheduled kickoff time for USA – Portugal.
Dec 7, 2013, 1:19 PM EST
After Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Liverpool, Sam Allardyce appeared frustrated. So, too, are many of West Ham’s fans.
Dec 7, 2013, 12:51 PM EST
After yet another poor defensive display, Mourinho is worried about the defensive solidity of his Chelsea side:
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