Dynamo 2, D.C. United 2 -- postgame notes

Houston strikes for third late game-tying goal of season

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Photo Credit: 
Ned Dishman / Getty Images

The
Houston Dynamo twice rallied from a one-goal deficit and used a dramatic
89th-minute goal from captain Brian Ching to pull out a 2-2 road tie against
D.C. United on Saturday and take the season series from their Eastern
Conference rival. Ching, making just his second start of the season, headed in
a cross from Colin Clark as Houston earned its fifth tie in eight road games.
Ching had also set up Houston’s first goal by drawing a penalty kick.

The
Dynamo are now unbeaten in their last five games (4-0-1) against D.C. United
and lead the all-time series 9-3-2. Houston won the season series with a 1-0-1
record thanks to a 4-1 win over D.C. on April 29.

GAME NIGHT:
DYNAMO 2, D.C. UNITED 2

D.C.
United took the lead in the 31st minute, when Josh Wolff teed up Chris Pontius
for a shot from outside the penalty area, and Pontius drove a right-footed shot
inside the left post for his fifth goal of the season.

The
Dynamo tied the game shortly before halftime when Je-Vaughn Watson set up Brian
Ching in the penalty area, and Ching was tripped up by D.C. United goalkeeper
Bill Hamid. Brad Davis stepped up to the resulting penalty kick and drove it
into the lower right corner for his second goal of the season, both from the
spot.

The
teams traded chances late in the first half, with Houston rookie Kofi Sarkodie
clearing a shot off the goal line, before the Dynamo took over early in the
second half. D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid had to make four saves in the
first 25 minutes of the second half, including tipping a Danny Cruz shot
against the crossbar. Cruz also came close to giving Houston the lead when he
hit the outside of the post from a Colin Clark cross in the 64th minute.

Against
the run of play, D.C. United took the lead in the 73rd minute. Midfielder Andy
Najar dribbled the end line into the six-yard box, and when the Dynamo knocked
the ball away from him, it deflected right to D.C. forward Charlie Davies, who
snapped the ball into the empty net for his eighth goal of the season, tied for
the league lead.

Having
used substitutions on injury (Brad Davis) and illness (Corey Ashe), the Dynamo
went to three forwards over the final 12 minutes with the introduction of Cam
Weaver
, and the team’s pressure finally paid off in the 89th minute. Brian
Ching held the ball up in his own half of the field and fed it to Geoff Cameron
streaking through the midfield. Cameron raced into the attacking half and passed
to Colin Clark on the left, and Clark chipped a cross to the penalty spot,
where Ching arrived to head it into the net with the help of a deflection to
tie the game.

The
tying goal was the third time this season the Dynamo have tied the game in the
final 15 minutes (April 23 at Chicago, May 28 vs. FC Dallas) and, combined with
the goal late in the first half, gives Houston a league-high 13 goals in the
final 15 minutes of either the first or second half.

Forward
Brian Ching made just his second start of the season due to injury and his
first since the Dynamo’s April 2 match against the New York Red Bulls. His 90
minutes were a season high, and he factored in both Houston goals.

The
Dynamo made five changes from last week’s lineup, including the third MLS appearances
of the season for defenders Kofi Sarkodie and Jermaine Taylor and the fourth
start of the year for midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson. Taylor and Watson played
their first games after returning from national team duty with Jamaica.

For
their Dynamo careers in all competitions, several players made milestone
appearances, including: midfielder Brad Davis (180th appearance), defender
Corey Ashe (150th appearance), midfielder Geoff Cameron (110th appearance),
defender Andre Hainault (75th appearance), and forward Cam Weaver (50th
appearance).

The
Dynamo played without forward Calen Carr (concussion); midfielder Lovel Palmer
(red card); and defender Eddie Robinson (MCL sprain).

Next
Match: Sunday, July 3, 8 p.m. CT, Dynamo at Colorado Rapids, Dick’s Sporting
Goods Park, Commerce City CO
Next
Home Match: Saturday, July 9, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. Toronto FC, Robertson
Stadium