For the third consecutive year, the Houston Dynamo earned a road point in one of the toughest venues in Major League Soccer, playing Toronto FC to a 1-1 draw Thursday night at BMO Field in Toronto on Canada Day. It was the second straight tie in league play for the Dynamo and the 14th consecutive league home game unbeaten for Toronto FC. Houston is now 2-1-4 all-time against Toronto.
Both teams scored with headers from corner kicks in the final 17 minutes, and the Dynamo finished with 10 men to Toronto’s nine after a pair of separate second-half incidents. Toronto received six cards in the game as opposed to Houston’s one.
Houston played its third game in six days and did so without forward Luis Landin (right knee strain) and midfielders Geoff Cameron (PCL surgery) and Brad Davis (left hip flexor). Forward Joseph Ngwenya started as a central midfielder for Houston, and midfielder Brian Mullan started at forward.
After a scoreless first half, the game came to life in the second. In the 58th minute, the Dynamo had a prime scoring opportunity snuffed out by a questionable offside call, as Bobby Boswell played Brian Mullan into the box. Mullan fired the ball into the net, but the whistle had already blown for offside; replays showed Mullan was clearly onside.
In the 61st minute, Houston’s Joseph Ngwenya and Toronto’s Nana Attakora collided after an earlier whistle, and a shoving match ensued that included most field players from both teams. Ngwenya and Toronto’s Julian De Guzman were both shown straight red cards and ejected.
Houston took the lead in the 73rd minute when Danny Cruz bent in a corner kick from the left, and Brian Ching met it at the edge of the six-yard box with a glancing header inside the far post. It was Ching’s third goal in five games since returning from the U.S. national team on May 29 and Cruz’s second assist in six starts since entering the lineup on May 22.
Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad made a huge save in the 84th minute, diving to his right to tip a 25-yard shot by Dwayne De Rosario over the crossbar. Toronto FC tied the game from the ensuing corner kick, as defender Dan Gargan arrived at the far side of the six-yard box to head in a Fuad Ibrahim corner kick.
Toronto midfielder Amadou Sanyang was ejected deep into stoppage time for a second yellow card.
Midfielder Corey Ashe made his 85th career MLS regular season appearance, and defender Ryan Cochrane made his 85th career appearance for the Dynamo in all competitions.
Game: Tuesday, July 6, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. Chivas USA, Robertson Stadium
(Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – Quarterfinals)
Next MLS Game: Saturday, July 10, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew, Robertson Stadium