The Houston Dynamo and Montreal Impact finished Disney Pro Soccer Classic group play with a 1-1 draw on Wednesday. With the result, the Dynamo advance to Saturday’s third-place game to play FC Dallas or Toronto FC.
Will Bruin headed home a beautifully-placed cross from Colin Clark in the 49th minute for the vital goal which secured passage to Saturday’s consolation game. Bruin’s strike was his team-leading fourth goal of the preseason.
Bruin created the first chance for the Dynamo in the 17th minute. After receiving a pass from Luiz Camargo on the right flank, the second-year forward beat a Montreal defender before cracking a low shot past the far post.
Clark created a similar chance ten minutes later, creating space for himself before unleashing a low shot that was smothered by Montreal goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
After neither team created many chances in the first half, it didn’t take long after halftime for Houston to take the lead.
Clark started a clever run near the Dynamo bench a long distance from goal as defender Warren Creavalle lofted a well-placed ball over the top of Montreal’s defense. Clark beat the Impact defender and corralled the ball just before the end line, where he whipped in a cross to the center of the penalty area. Bruin was charging in from the back side and made no mistake of the service, drilling the header into the side of the net for a 1-0 advantage.
Bruin nearly doubled the lead three minutes later. The former Indiana Hoosier created space on the right side of the area before firing a low shot for the far corner of the net. Goalkeeper Greg Sutton, a halftime substitute, used every inch of his out-stretched arm for an impressive one-arm save on the shot to his right, keeping the deficit within reach for Montreal.
Just four minutes later the Impact leveled the score. Twenty yards from the Dynamo goal, Patrice Bernier struck a well-taken free kick with impressive bend over the wall and into the near-corner of the net for the Montreal equalizer.
Clark nearly put Houston back on top after 63 minutes when he stung a shot from 22 yards that skimmed off the top of the crossbar for the closest chance the Dynamo would have to add a goal.
The Impact nearly seized a win in stoppage time. Moments before the final whistle, Felipe Martins slipped in behind the Houston defense and tried to chip Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall from about 12 yards away. The floating shot sailed over the crossbar and the game finished tied. Houston finished in a three-way tie for second place in their group, but the Dynamo had a better goal-differential than Sporting KC and Montreal and thus will advance to play in Saturday’s third-place game.
Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact
February 29, 2012 – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Pro Soccer Classic
HOU – Will Bruin (Colin Clark) 49
MON – Patrice Bernier 56
HOU – Adam Moffat 20
MTL – Tyson Wahl 22
HOU – Corey Ashe 34
HOU – Andre Hainault 41
MTL - Collen Warner 88 (red card)
Houston Dynamo – Tally Hall; Warren Creavalle, Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe; Colin Clark (Calen Carr 86), Adam Moffat, Luiz Camargo (Nathan Sturgis 63), Brad Davis (Youssouf Hersi 62); Brian Ching (Cam Weaver 71), Will Bruin (Macoumba Kandji 75).
Montreal Impact – Donovan Ricketts (Greg Sutton 45), Jeb Brovsky (Calum Mallace 77), Matteo Ferrari, Tyson Wahl, Josh Gardner; Davy Arnaud, Patrice Bernier, Felipe, Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Collen Warner 77); Justin Braun (Lamar Neagle 63), Mike Fucito (Miguel Montano 55)