Houston Dynamo 2, Columbus Crew 2 | MLS Match Recap
HOUSTON – Looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011, the Columbus Crew turned a second half burst into a well-earned point in a 2-2 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium with the Houston Dynamo.
After conceding twice in the first half, Wil Trapp and Ethan Finlay each struck paydirt ten minutes into the second stanza. The second half effort was enough to keep the ledger level and get the Crew out of Houston with a point.
The result moves the Crew (9-9-10, 37 points) into a tie with Philadelphia Union for the fifth and final playoff spot in the East. Houston (9-13-5, 32 points) remains five points back in eighth place.
After a fast-paced first 10 minutes saw both clubs generate chances, Houston got a favorable deflection to take the lead. On a corner kick, rookie AJ Cochran beat Aaron Schoenfeld to the ball. His shot deflected off the forward’s head and into the side netting giving Houston a 12th minute lead.
Giles Barnes doubled the lead in the 38th minute on some nice interplay. Kofi Sarkodie, who returned after being suspended for yellow card accumulation, played Omar Cummings through and his sharp through ball found his partner in the box for the second week. Faced up with Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark, the Englishman chipped it over the onrushing ‘keeper to the far post, scoring his eighth of the season and third in two games to make it 2-0.
The Crew wasted little time in the second half pulling one back just three minutes in on a special moment from Trapp. The up-and-coming midfielder settled a Waylon Francis throw 25 yards from goal and with no defender within 10 yards snuck it past goalkeeper Tyler Deric to make it 2-1.
Six minutes later they equalized, this time it was Finlay taking advantage of space. Federico Higuain hit a sharp cross to the back post. With no defender marking, the midfielder settled and powered a header home from point blank range to tie the score to draw the match level.
Ricardo Salazar twice had a change of heart that took a chance away from the Crew. On a first half corner kick, Cochran was called for a foul and the referee pointed to the spot. After conferring with assistant referee Kermit Quisenberry he reversed the decision denying a golden chance for Higuain to equalize.
Lightning struck again in the 82nd minute when Salazar called a PK for a handball on Cochran. Again he conferred with his AR and reversed the decision. On replay, the ball looked to go off the rookie’s head and not his hand.
In the end the teams split the halves. Houston claimed the first, the Crew the second and the spoils that come along with it.
Next Saturday Houston will travel to the northeast to face another playoff contender in the Philadelphia Union while Columbus will host the New England Revolution.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Giles Barnes||Besides his clever finish, he kept the Crew defense on their toes in the first half.|
|2||Ethan Finlay||His goal tied the match, but he was a handful for the Houston defense all night.|
|3||Luis Garrido||Dominated the midfield, at least in the first half, with his pressure and distribution.|