Baggio Husidic scored in first half stoppage time, and Peter Lowry added one in the second half as the Chicago Fire defeated the Houston Dynamo 2-0 at Toyota Park on Saturday night.
The Fire went ahead in stoppage time of the first half when Chicago defender Tim Ward ripped a 22-yard shot at Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad, who made the save but could not control the rebound. Husidic beat two Houston defenders to the rebound to head the ball in from close range for his first career MLS goal.
Outshot 12-2 in the first half and without midfielder Geoff Cameron, who suffered a right knee injury and left the game in the 30th minute, Houston came out better in the second half, and forward Brian Mullan came close to equalizing in the 49th minute. Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis found Mullan streaking into the box with a ball from the left flank, and Mullan hit a hard shot toward net, but Chicago goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra came off his line and made himself big to make the initial stop. The ball then deflected off of Mullan and rolled toward Chicago’s net, but Fire defender Krzysztof Krol was alert to the situation and cleared the ball out for a corner.
The Dynamo had another good chance to tie the game in the 57th minute, when Houston defender Mike Chabala hit a fantastic cross toward fellow defender Andrew Hainault at the back post. Despite having a free header, Hainault -- who was up the field for a Houston corner kick -- saw his shot saved by Dykstra, who got to his feet in time to stop Dominic Oduro's follow-up header.
Lowry doubled the Fire’s advantage in the 67th minute. The goal came courtesy of winger Patrick Nyarko, who collected a Marco Pappa switch on the right flank, dribbled toward the end line and fired a cross toward the near post. Lowry made a hard, charging run toward the ball, sticking his chest out like a sprinter crossing the finish line to deflect it past Onstad at the near post. Lowry also scored the first goal of his MLS career against the Dynamo last year.
Lowry’s goal ratcheted up the tension on the field, and things got ugly in the 81st minute. Ward committed a foul on a 50-50 header on the right side of the field, and a bit of a scrum ensued, resulting in a yellow card for Fire forward Collins John and a second yellow card for Houston midfielder Danny Cruz, who came on in the 69th minute.
Chicago did not hold its man advantage for long though, as Krol received a straight red only two minutes after Cruz was ejected. The Polish defender was sent to the showers for headbutting Houston forward Luis Ángel Landín, who picked up a yellow card for fouling Krol.
The result puts an end to the Dynamo’s unbeaten record at Toyota Park. Houston had gone 3-0-1 in their previous four matches against the Fire in Bridgeview. It also ended a five-game Houston winning streak against Chicago.
Houston Dynamo (2-2-1) vs. Chicago Fire (2-2-1)
April 24, 2010 –- Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL
CHI -- Baggio Husidic 1 (unassisted) 48+
CHI -- Peter Lowry 1 (Patrick Nyarko 3) 67
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Andrew Hainault (Danny Cruz 70), Eddie Robinson, Bobby Boswell, Mike Chabala, Corey Ashe (Luis Angel Landin 62), Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron (Adrian Serioux 30), Brad Davis, Brian Mullan, Dominic Oduro.
Substitutes Not Used: Tally Hall, Ryan Cochrane, Francisco Navas Cobo, Craig Waibel
Chicago Fire -- Andrew Dykstra, Tim Ward, Wilman Conde, C.J. Brown, Krzysztof Krol, Patrick Nyarko, Peter Lowry, Marco Pappa (Deris Umanzor 90), Baggio Husidic, Justin Mapp (Mike Banner 74), Brian McBride (Collins John 62).
Substitutes Not Used: Sean Johnson, Corben Bone, Stefan Dimitrov, Kwame Watson-Siriboe.
CHI -- Peter Lowry (caution; Persistent Infringement) 55
HOU -- Mike Chabala (caution; Intentional Handball) 58
HOU -- Adrian Serioux (caution; Tactical Foul) 65
HOU -- Danny Cruz (caution; Reckless Tackle) 79
CHI -- Collins John (caution; Game Disrepute) 81
HOU -- Danny Cruz (ejection; Second Caution) 82
HOU -- Luis Landín (caution; Reckless Tackle) 84
CHI -- Krzysztof Krol (ejection; Violent Conduct) 84
CHI -- Mike Banner (caution; Delayed Restart) 88
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: Adam Wienckowski; Peter Manikowski
4th official: Chris Penso
Weather: Cloudy and 53 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial