In a midweek thriller, Houston used some late magic from sophomore striker Will Bruin in to save a 3-3 result against Toronto FC and stay undefeated in MLS play at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Bruin got his seventh and eighth goals of the season, leaving it late to pull his team back from a 3-1 hafltime deficit. His home heroics overshadowed a fantastic first half performance from Toronto's Danny Koevermans, who showed what a crafty striker can do by finding space in Houston’s backline and notching a brace of his own.
Koevermans, like Bruin, was the beneficiary of quality service on both of his goals.
Tied 1-1 after Jeremy Hall and Bobby Boswell traded set-piece goals in the first 20 minutes, Koevermans notched his first goal just two minutes after Houston had drawn the contest level. The Dutch international made a crafty run to follow Eric Avila and tap in a cross for the 2-1 lead.
After Houston looked to come back into the game for the next 20 minutes, with Bruin and Mac Kandji spurning numerous chances, Koevermans extended the Reds’ lead just before the half by heading home a Julian De Guzman cross.
After a quiet start to the second half for both teams, Houston clawed back into the match when Geoff Cameron – who pushed into the midfield as Dom Kinnear switched to a 3-5-2 – hit a sublime ball over the top to Brad Davis, who weighted a perfect ball into Bruin’s stride. The striker had time to pick his spot and blast a shot into the right upper-90 to bring the Dynamo back within one with 17 minutes to go.
In the 90th minute Bruin did it again, this time set up by rookie right flanker Brian Ownby, who notched his second assist on the season in as many appearances. The rookie used some nifty moves to create space near the end line and hit a cross that found Houston’s hero. After sending two headers just off the mark in the opening six minutes, Bruin made his final chance count to save a point for the Dynamo.
Houston (5-4-5) moves to 20 points, good for fifth in the Eastern Conference. TFC (1-10-1) collect just their fourth point of the season and remain rooted to the bottom of the standings.
Both teams return to action Saturday when Houston makes their first trip to Stade Saputo Saturday to face the Montreal Impact, while Toronto will return home to host the New England Revolution.
Houston Dynamo (5-4-5) vs. Toronto FC (1-10-1)
June 20, 2012 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston - Attendance: 21,423
TFC – Jeremy Hall 1 (unassisted) 13
HOU – Bobby Boswell 1 (Brad Davis) 20
TFC – Danny Koeverman 4 (Eric Avila, Ryan Johnson) 22
TFC – Danny Koeverman 5 (Julian de Guzman) 45
HOU - Will Bruin 7 (Brad Davis) 73
HOU - Will Bruin 8 (Geoff Cameron) 90
Houston Dynamo – Tally Hall; Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe; Colin Clark (Brian Ownby 77), Adam Moffat, Luiz Camargo (Je-Vaughn Watson 57), Brad Davis; Will Bruin, Macoumba Kandji (Brian Ching 63)
Substitutes not used: Tyler Deric, Warren Creavalle, Nathan Sturgis, Cam Weaver
Toronto FC – Milos Kocic; Jeremy Hall, Richard Eckersley, Doneil Henry, Ashtone Morgan; Julian de Guzman (Reggie Lambe 81), Torsten Frings, Terry Dunfield, Eric Avila; Ryan Johnson, Danny Koevermans (Dicoy Williams 89)
Substitutes not used: Quillan Roberts, Joao Plata
Misconduct Summary: TFC – Torsten Frings (caution) 48; Ashtone Morgan (caution) 83
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant referees: Brian Poeschel, Mark Cahen
4th Official: Jorge Luna Hernandez