Brian Ching’s 89th-minute goal earned the Houston Dynamo a 2-2 draw against D.C. United and a valuable road point at RFK Stadium on Saturday. The forward’s tally canceled out goals from DC’s Charlie Davies and Chris Pontius, which sandwiched a Brad Davis first-half penalty kick.
Looking for revenge after a 4-1 loss earlier in the year to Houston, D.C. dominated possession in the first 20 minutes, creating a number of scoring opportunities it could not convert.
The hard work finally paid off in the 31st minute. Midfielder Dax McCarty hustled to keep a ball in play on the left wing. He found Josh Wolff running away from goal, who kept the ball moving to Pontius. From 25 years out, the midfielder took two touches to find space and fired a driven shot past a sprawling Tally Hall.
Just 10 minutes later, Houston got on the board. Ching broke into the D.C. box and goalkeeper Bill Hamid dove in, reaching for the ball. Ching eluded Hamid, whose left foot caught the Dynamo striker. Referee Mark Kadlecik pointed to the spot, and Davis stepped up to convert the penalty to tie the game in the 41st minute.
United was not content to sit on the tie and continued to press forward. McCarty almost scored off a corner, but Kofi Sarkodie cleared his attempt off the line. Minutes later, Hall came up huge to save a Davies' diving header. Right before the half, Hamid then had to be alert to keep out a Will Bruin header.
While D.C. started the game the stronger side, Houston came out of the gates in the second a much different squad – despite having to sub off playmaker Davis (sore groin) for Colin Clark. In the 57th minute, Hamid tipped a left-footed strike from Danny Cruz onto the bar, and Perry Kitchen lunged to block Bruin's follow.
As D.C. struggled to seize momentum, Houston kept pressing in search of its first win on the road. Clark, in a lively substitute’s role, sent a low cross in that eluded a diving Hamid, but Cruz's shot hit off the post.
Despite Houston’s bright performance in the second half, D.C. took the lead again in the 73rd minute. Second-half substitute Fred played a cross-field ball for Andy Najar, who danced past Clark. Dynamo left back Mike Chabala blocked Najar's initial attempt, but Davies was there to poke the ball past Hall.
The Dynamo were down but not out. Throwing numbers forward in search of a goal, the Dynamo found the equalizer in the 89th minute. Clark had time on the left wing, and curled in a cross to an unmarked Ching, who headed the ball into the corner of the net for the tying goal.
Houston Dynamo (4-6-7) vs. D.C. United (4-5-6)
June 25, 2011 -- RFK Stadium, Washington DC
DC -- Chris Pontius 5 (Josh Wolff 4, Dax McCarty 2) 31
HOU -- Brad Davis 2 (penalty kick) 41
DC -- Charlie Davies 8 (unassisted) 73
HOU -- Brian Ching 1 (Colin Clark 1, Geoff Cameron 3) 89
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie (Cam Weaver 78), Jermaine Taylor, Andre
Hainault, Corey Ashe (Mike Chabala 68), Danny Cruz, Je-Vaughn Watson,
Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis (Colin Clark 46), Brian Ching, Will Bruin.
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Boswell, Hunter Freeman, Jason Garey, Tyler Deric.
D.C. United -- Bill Hamid, Jed Zayner, Perry Kitchen, Ethan White, Daniel Woolard, Andy
Najar, Clyde Simms, Dax McCarty (Fred 59), Chris Pontius, Charlie
Davies (Stephen King 85), Josh Wolff (Blake Brettschneider 69).
Substitutes Not Used: Brandon Barklage, Chris Korb, Conor Shanosky, Steve Cronin.
HOU -- Kofi Sarkodie (caution; Reckless Tackle) 74
DC -- Chris Pontius (caution; Dissent) 96+
HOU -- Danny Cruz (caution; Delaying a Restart) 96+
Referee: Mark Kadlecik
Referee's Assistants: Rob Fereday; James Conlee
4th Official: John McCloskey
Weather: Cloudy-and-84 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial