The Houston Dynamo extended their unbeaten streak to five MLS games and their road unbeaten streak to six games with a come-from-behind 1-1 tie against the Chicago Fire Saturday night in Bridgeview, Ill. Defender Bobby Boswell scored the game-tying goal in the 83rd minute to give Houston a deserved road point. The Dynamo are now tied for third place in the Eastern Conference, trailing first-place New York by two points.
Houston returns to action with back-to-back home games, hosting D.C. United in a nationally-televised Orange Out Friday night game this week and then taking on defending MLS Cup champion Colorado on Wednesday, May 4.
Although the Dynamo controlled outshot the Fire 15-11 and controlled 61 percent of possession, Chicago struck first in the 18th minute. After Houston appeared to break up a counterattack, Fire midfielder Marco Pappa, while on the ground, flicked a pass into the penalty area, where forward Diego Chaves ran onto the ball and scored his fourth goal of the season.
Houston pressured Chicago throughout the first half, forcing eight corner kicks, but did not get a shot on goal. Early in the second half, both teams came close with shots, as Houston’s Lovel Palmer fired off the post from long range in the 47th minute and Chicago’s Dominic Oduro rang the crossbar in the 66th minute.
The Dynamo found a tying goal in the 83rd minute on their 10th corner kick of the night when Brad Davis played the ball toward the far post and defender Bobby Boswell met it with a header that nestled just inside the opposite post to tie the game. The goal was Boswell’s second of the season, the second-highest total of his career after he netted three as a rookie in 2006.
The dramatic goal came almost three years after Boswell scored the game-winning goal for Houston at Chicago on an 85th-minute header in May 2008. For Davis, the assist was his fourth of the season, second in MLS behind Vancouver’s Davide Chiumiento (5).
The match included seven minutes of stoppage time at the end of the second half due to several injuries and delays, including a clash of heads between Houston’s Cam Weaver and Chicago’s Yamith Cuesta. Both players returned to and completed the match.
With the tie, Houston extended its road unbeaten streak to six games (2-0-4), including all three away games in 2011 by a 1-1 margin. The club record for road unbeaten streak is seven games, set in the team’s inaugural season of 2006. The Dynamo are now unbeaten in five consecutive games overall (2-0-3) and 3-1-2 all-time at Toyota Park.
Jamaican international midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson entered the match as a substitute in the 78th minute, making his Dynamo and MLS debut.
Dynamo midfielder Geoff Cameron played his 100th game for the Dynamo in all competitions, becoming the 14th player in club history to reach that milestone. Defender Corey Ashe moved into a tie for fifth place in club history by appearing in his 140th game, tying assistant coach Wade Barrett.
Midfielder Brad Davis made the 190th start of his MLS career, defender Bobby Boswell played in his 170th career MLS game, defender Hunter Freeman played in the 90th game of his MLS career, midfielder Lovel Palmer made his 35th start for Houston in all competitions, and midfielder Danny Cruz made his 25th start for the Dynamo in all competitions.
The Dynamo played without forwards Calen Carr (concussion), Brian Ching (rib separation), and Sergio Koke (visa); midfielder Francisco Navas Cobo (hamstring); and defender Jermaine Taylor (foot sprain).
Reserve Match: Sunday, April 24, 10:00 a.m., Dynamo at Chicago Fire
Next Home Match: Friday, April 29, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. D.C. United, Robertson Stadium
HOUSTON DYNAMO HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
“It was a tough game and is always a tough place to play. The Fire came out with a point to prove with the rough week that they had, and we knew they were going to be prepared and ready to go. I told the team that the first 20 minutes were going to be tough for us, we had to really compete. I think the goal came from a bit of a misplay from us, but we talked at halftime, regrouped, and showed a lot of confidence in the second half, stepping out there and playing better."
On giving away a goal early in the first half:
“I wasn’t too thrilled about that, with the way the goal came about. I think we can do a better job at cleaning up the mess that we made, and credit to the Fire for taking advantage of the opportunity. I think our response was good, especially near the end of the first half, and it carried over into the second half. We had a good number of corners, a good number of balls in the box. We walked into the locker room at half time a little disappointed but confident we played pretty well.”
On the Dynamo goal coming from a defender:
“We always want the center backs to attack the ball. With the big center guys, Bobby [Boswell] and Andre [Hainault] were coming forward, and Bobby’s scored a couple goals and seems to pop up in the right place. Brad [Davis] put the ball in the right place, and Bobby attached it and scored a great goal.”
On player injuries:
“Cam Weaver is going to get some stitches, a handful maybe. It was a clash of the titans collision. Both guys carried on playing, and it shows their determination to be good for their teams.”
HOUSTON DYNAMO DEFENDER BOBBY BOSWELL
“I think we played pretty well. We knew they were going to come out hard because in all the games they have played, they have come out pretty hard, and once the game slowed down, we adjusted to the field. I think we were all over them, and fortunately we got the goal at the end of the match. Sometimes when you play games like this, you don’t get anything. To get a point on the road is important. I almost feel like we could have gotten a win, we are almost disappointed. We’re happy with the result today. Any time we get a point, we’ll take it.”
On what the team said in the locker room at halftime:
“We tried to calm the guys down. Coach [Dominic Kinnear] did a good job getting us focused. He built us up, he didn’t knock us down. He said he thought we were playing well and if we kept the intensity going we’d get something. He made a good point, that they are probably going to expect us to come out hard in the first 15 minutes, but why don’t we go out hard for forty-five. I thought our subs that came on did well. They helped change the game. I was giving the guys a hard time about scoring goals, and they’re going to have to hear it again this week too. I am going to keep trying to put it in the back of the net. We got good service from Brad [Davis], and I think we could have had more tonight, but it’s the game sometimes.”
HOUSTON DYNAMO MIDFIELDER BRAD DAVIS
“I thought it was good for us. I think we played well. Obviously the attitude of the guys was fantastic. We put everything into it. To fight back the way we did, especially coming out in the second half, I think we definitely had the better of the play. I feel like we could have even won that game if we pushed really hard. We definitely had a lot of chances. We gave them a couple of opportunities and they scored on one, and that’s disappointing, but to keep pushing and get a goal and get the point is fantastic.”
On his assist:
“We work on set pieces a lot, and the guys made some good runs, and I was able to put the ball in a good spot. We had a number of corner kicks, I don’t remember how many but I think we had quite a few, and like I said, the attitude of the guys to keep pushing and to keep doing their job [was great], and Bobby [Boswell] was able to get up and tie the score.”