For the first time in months, the Houston Dynamo had a scare at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Heading into the final 10 minutes, Houston found themselves down 2-1 and pressing for the goal that would pull out a result against the Columbus Crew. In the 82nd minute, Adam Moffat delivered the goods with a left-footed winner in a 2-2 draw.
After Danny O’Rourke cleared a ball out of the Crew box, Moffat set up on his left foot and blasted a shot at Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, who failed to properly hold the ball and watched it trickle over his own line.
Houston rose to 41 points on the season and moves into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Fire. Columbus moved to 30 points, staying static in seventh place.
The Crew, coming off a midweek 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy, matched Houston’s attack throughout the night. Led by Dilly Duka in the first half and debutant Designated Player Federico Higuain, who replaced Justin Meram at halftime, the visitors took the game to the Dynamo in a team effort.
That kind of play was exemplified on both of the Crew’s goals, and especially their second – a product of a seven-pass sequence finished off by a streaking Eddie Gaven in the 61st minute.
Jairo Arrieta and Higuaín combined for a well-crafted layoff and ball over the top to send Gaven through on goal, where he made no mistake with the finish.
The game had been tied 1-1 at the time of Gaven's goal, thanks to good team goals from each side in the first half.
Columbus were not to be outdone. The Crew put together a good showing in the attack and in the 33rd minute their push paid off.
Duka found plenty of space down the right after playing a give-and-go with Gaven, and then cut back to find the onrushing Cole Grossman. The Duke product curled it home with his first touch for his first MLS goal to knot the match at 1-1.
Following Gaven's goal, Houston found themselves trailing at home for the first time since June 20, when they were down 3-1 in the first half to Toronto FC, and went on the attack to try and prolong their 19-game home unbeaten streak.
Before Moffat’s equalizer, Davis capped an extended buildup in the 68th minute with a laser from 25 yards out, but Gruenebaum parried the initial attempt and Will Bruin could not get a finishing touch on the rebound.
After Moffat’s goal, Higuaín came inches from putting the Crew back on top in the 84th minute but his curling free kick went just wide of the near post.
Columbus will next host Toronto FC Wednesday night while Houston enters CONCACAF Champions League play with a trip to El Salvador to face FAS. The Dynamo will resume MLS play next Saturday with a match against TFC.
Houston Dynamo (11-6-8) vs. Columbus Crew (8-8-6)
August 19, 2012 - BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston
HOU: Brad Davis 6 (Boniek Garcia 4) 19
CLB: Cole Grossman 1 (Dilly Duka 2, Eddie Gaven 2) 33
CLB: Eddie Gaven 5 (Federico Higuain 1) 58
HOU: Adam Moffat 2 (unassisted) 82
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe (Cam Weaver 76); Boniek Garcia, Adam Moffat, Brad Davis; Calen Carr, Will Bruin (Brian Ching 76), Macoumba Kandji (Ricardo Clark 63)
Substitutes not used: Tyler Deric, Warren Creavalle, Luiz Camargo, Je-Vaughn Watson
Columbus Crew: Andy Gruenebaum; Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Carlos Mendes, Josh Williams; Chris Birchall, Cole Grossman (Danny ORourke 80); Justin Meram (Federico Higuain 45), Eddie Gaven, Dilly Duka (Ethan Finlay 75); Jairo Arrieta
Subs not used: Matt Lampson, Emilio Renteria, Tony Tchani, Julius James
CLB: Dilly Duka (caution) 39
CLB: Federico Higuain (caution) 79
Referee: Drew Fischer
Referee's Assistants: Chris Strickland, Jeff Muschik
4th Official: Ted Unkel