The Houston Dynamo stayed alive in CONCACAF Champions League play Tuesday night after playing to a 1-1 deadlock with Luis Angel Firpo in El Salvador. The Dynamo traveled only 16 players to El Salvador, including the core of the reserve squad that recently clinched the MLS Reserve Division championship. Houston is now 1-1-3 (6 points) and can advance to the quarterfinals with a win over Luis Angel Firpo, which is 2-1-2 (8 points), on November 26 at Robertson Stadium.
The Dynamo are now 6-1-7 in all competitions since their August 24 loss to New York and 12-2-8 overall since their July 15 loss to Chivas de Guadalajara. Tuesday’s match was the Dynamo’s 45th competitive fixture of the season, not counting the preseason Pan-Pacific Championship. With their playoff games, the Dynamo will pass D.C. United for the most games played by an MLS team this season.
23-year-old midfielder Stuart Holden, wearing the captain’s armband, scored in the 16th minute when a long throw from Geoff Cameron bounced in the box and fell to Holden. It was his seventh goal in all competitions this year, the third highest total on the team, all coming since July 12.
Luis Angel Firpo tied the game in the 87th minute when Carlos Monteagudo crossed the ball from the left. Ramon Avila beat Dynamo goalkeeper Tony Caig to the ball at the near post and headed it back toward the penalty spot, where Fernando Leguizamón rifled a shot past two defenders on the goal line.
The Dynamo are now 0-3-4 all-time in games played in Mexico and Central America. Other road ties against Latin American competition came March 12 against CSD Municipal (0-0), September 23 at San Francisco F.C. (0-0), and September 30 against Pumas UNAM (4-4).
Dynamo midfielders Stuart Holden and Geoff Cameron were both issued first-half yellow cards and will miss the final Group B game on November 26 for accumulating two cautions in the group stage.
Houston Dynamo (1-1-3) vs. Luis Angel Firpo (2-1-2)
October 28, 2008 -- Estadio Cuscatlán, San Salvador ELS
2008-09 CONCACAF Champions League -- Group B
HOU -- Stuart Holden 1 (unassisted) 16
LAF -- Fernando Leguizamón 1 (Ramon Avila 1) 87
Houston Dynamo -- Tony Caig, Erik Ustruck, Patrick Ianni, Stephen Wondolowski, Mike Chabala, Geoff Cameron, John Michael Hayden, Stuart Holden, Corey Ashe, Chris Wondolowski (Kyle Brown 93), Kei Kamara.
Substitutes Not Used: Corbin Waller, Johnny Alcaraz, Nick Hatzke, Guy-Roland Kpene.
Luis Angel Firpo -- Henry Hernandez, Emerson Veliz, Manuel Salazar, Salvador Morales, Carlos Monteagudo, Carlos Calderon (Francisco Medrano 24), Leonardo Pekarnik (Jose Campos 61), Dennis Alas, Christian Sanchez (Ramon Avila 64), Fernando Leguizamón, Patricio Gomez.
Substitutes Not Used: Guillermo Josue Pino, Alexis Maravilla, Ruben Quijada, Ricardo Orellana.
HOU -- Stuart Holden(caution; Reckless Tackle) 37
HOU -- Geoff Cameron (caution; Reckless Tackle) 39
HOU -- John Michael Hayden (caution; Delay of Game) 50
LAF -- Jose Campos (caution; Reckless Tackle) 66
HOU -- Tony Caig (caution; Delay of Game) 92+
Referee: Jorge Gasso (MEX)
Referee's Assistants: Joel Rangel (MEX); Alfonso Delgado (MEX)
4th Official: Elmer Bonilla (ELS)
Weather: Clear-and-70 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial