Joseph Ngwenya scored in the 80th minute as the Houston
Dynamo rallied for a 2-2 tie with the Colorado Rapids Saturday night at
Robertson Stadium, with the Dynamo breaking a three-game MLS losing
streak in their first MLS game in three weeks due to the World Cup.
Colorado had only allowed two goals from open play all season, but Houston netted two from open play in Saturday’s game alone. The Dynamo also became the first team all season to score against the Rapids in the final 30 minutes of play with Houston’s 80th-minute goal.
The Dynamo return to action on Tuesday with the second of three games in six days, hosting Miami FC in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Robertson Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Two days later, on July 1, the Dynamo will travel to face Toronto FC in a nationally televised match.
On Saturday, the Dynamo struck first in the 17th minute when a corner kick was cleared, and midfielder Danny Cruz faked to his left foot and fired a low blast inside the left post for his second goal of the year. Corey Ashe picked up an assist on the play, the 10th of his MLS regular season career.
After not threatening most of the half, Colorado tied the game in the 45th minute after a sloppy giveaway from the Dynamo back line, as Conor Casey faked out several Dynamo players and converted his sixth goal of the year. Despite registering just three shots all game, the Rapids took the lead in the 71st minute when a corner kick deflected in off of Houston midfielder Lovel Palmer.
The Dynamo switched to an attacking 3-5-2 formation and almost tied the game when Danny Cruz fired another left-footed shot from the top of the box. The shot hit the left post, rolled along the goal line, and caromed off the right post as well before being cleared.
Houston finally tied the game in the 80th minute when Brad Davis played a long ball forward that Brian Ching touched wide to Brian Mullan on the left. Mullan played a low cross toward the penalty spot, and Joseph Ngwenya arrived to one-time a shot into the top right corner. It was Ngwenya’s first goal in MLS since the 2007 MLS Cup final. Ching registered the 25th assist of his MLS regular season career.
Dynamo midfielder Brian Mullan came on as a second-half substitute and set up the tying goal. Mullan has now played 1,024 minutes on the season, marking the ninth consecutive MLS regular season in which he has played at least 1,000 minutes.
With the tie, Houston remained unbeaten at home against Colorado all-time with a 5-0-2 record.
Goalkeeper Pat Onstad made the 210th and defender Bobby Boswell made the 150th start of their respective MLS regular season careers. Midfielder Corey Ashe made his 115th career Dynamo appearance in all competitions.
Next Game: Tuesday, June 29, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. Miami FC, Robertson Stadium
(Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – Round 3)
Next MLS Game: Thursday, July 1, 6 p.m., Dynamo at Toronto FC, BMO Field, Toronto ON
Next Home MLS Game: Saturday, July 10, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew, Robertson Stadium
HOUSTON DYNAMO HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
On the game …
“I think we were doing fine until we made a huge mistake for the first goal before halftime. Give our guys credit though, as we pushed forward for the [tying] goal and a great finish by Joe. At the end, we could have snuck away with a win and they could have too. I don’t know if the guys are disappointed or frustrated, but they are definitely tired because it was a hot, humid night.”
On each team’s chances …
“It was a pretty dull first half. There was a goal, and then both teams were sitting back. Either team could have won the game, and the result was a tie. They didn’t score their chances; they scored on our misplays. The chances that they got, they didn’t take advantage of, and somehow we snuffed it out by emergency defending. But I will say I thought we had some decent chances at the end.”
On standout performances …
“Danny [Cruz] was very bright tonight. He provided us good energy out there. He is not afraid to shoot, as you can see. I thought Joe [Ngwenya] was very menacing early in the game, finding pockets underneath, and he took his goal well later on. So it’s nice to see him back on the field, and it’s nice to see him being productive for us.”
HOUSTON DYNAMO DEFENDER EDDIE ROBINSON
On the game …
“I think the guys took it a little easy on me, because of the effort they put in these last two weeks trying to turn things around, and for me to make a mistake like that, it’s almost like me punching them. It is certainly disappointing. Mentally it’s tough, but we have a Tuesday night game, and hopefully I’ll get some time in that and get some confidence back.”
DYNAMO MIDFIELDER COREY ASHE
On rallying from a 2-1 deficit …
“The ways things have been going, I think it’s good that we showed some fight and we walked away with a point.”