Chicago tied 1-1 with Houston in a fairly ho-hum game of soccer this afternoon. Colin Clark opened the scoring for Houston on some corner kick madness in the 33rd minute. Ten minutes later, Dominic Oduro burned Bobby Boswell on defense and got the ball past goaltender Tally Hall on a shot that required a lot of skill. It was great to see Oduro score a little revenge on the team that traded him.
On the playoff front, the Dynamo moved to 43 points with 2 games left and the Fire moved to 37 points with 3 games left. New York Red Bulls stole a point thanks to a late goal from Thierry Henry against Toronto FC. They moved up to 40 points with 3 games left with their own 1-1 draw. The Colorado Rapids defeated FC Dallas 1-0 despite going down to 10 men with 15 minutes left. Colorado is now at 45 points with 2 games remaining so their victory was quite big for them. FC Dallas has now lost 4 MLS Regular Season games in a row and is 0-6-1 in their last seven competitions. With three games left against Chicago, Vancouver, and Toronto FC, you have to figure that FC Dallas will be able to scrap out a point somewhere but if Chicago won their last three games and FC Dallas lost all three, Chicago would qualify over them in the playoffs. Either way, FC Dallas is going to be very hungry when they come to Toyota Park on October 12. More lineups, notes, quotes and highlights after the break.
Chicago Fire 1 - 1 Houston Dynamo
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Michael Videira, Jalil Anibaba, Cory Gibbs, Gonzalo Segares; Logan Pause ©, Baggio Husidic (Pavel Pardo 66'), Daniel Paladini, Corben Bone (Marco Pappa 73'); Diego Chaves, Dominic Oduro (Patrick Nyarko 51')
Substitutes not used: Jon Conway, Dan Gargan, Josip Mikulic, Orr Barouch
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe (Jermaine Taylor 46'); Colin Clark (Danny Cruz 75'), Luiz Camargo, Adam Moffat, Brad Davis; Brian Ching ©, Carlo Costly (Calen Carr 60')
Substitutes not used: Tyler Deric, Hunter Freeman, Je-Vaughn Watson, Will Bruin
HOU - Colin Clark (unassisted) 33'
CHI - Dominic Oduro (Baggio Husidic) 43'
CHI - Gonzalo Segares (caution; Reckless Foul) 68'
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee's Assistants: Corey Parker, Steven Taylor
4th Referee: Armando Villarreal
- With his first return to Houston since being traded for Calen Carr on March 23, Chicago Fire striker Dominic Oduro tallied his team leading 12th goal of the MLS Regular Season. Oduro sat tied with Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan on 12 goals, one shy of league-leader Dwayne De Rosario until Thierry Henry added a goal in the Toronto FC/NYRB matchup.
- With his helper on Oduro's 43rd minute strike, Fire midfielder Baggio Husidic tallied his first assist of the 2011 campaign.
- With the point, the Fire move to 2-3-1 all-time at Robertson Stadium.
- The Fire are 5-1-1 in their last seven matches.
Head Coach Frank Klopas
"It was a very good result for us. We played a couple days ago at Salt Lake and we know this is a difficult place to play. As we are pushing to make the playoffs, it was very important not to lose the game. A win would have been great, we tried to push the game to win, but a point is good. We have three games left so it's a good result because it's against a good team."
"In the end I thought we had some good moments in the first half. We lost the momentum a little when they scored form a set piece. Then we were able to combine and score a fantastic goal and keep things tight. In the end I think it's a fair result."
"We are trying to stretch it out to make it to the playoffs. We were looking for three points, but we will take a tie. Now we have the Open Cup finals and that is what we are concentrating on. This game is past. It's great to get a point on the road. Now we are ready to go home, try to win our games and hopefully make it to the playoffs."
"I think we started off pretty fast. We were keeping the ball well. We tried to limit our set pieces goals against, and we have done a good job of that but unfortunately this game we allowed one. We were able to bounce back. I think it's most important that we fought back to get the goal and come away with the result on the road. We can't afford to lose any games but a point on the road is huge for us."
Head Coach Dominic Kinnear
On the match ...
"It was a frustrating afternoon to be 1-0 up and have a good chance to go 2-0 up and possibly put the game away. Then you give them a goal. In the second half we put ourselves in great spots in the final third. It's just one of those days where our crosses were off enough, our shots were off enough and it leads to a frustrating afternoon. The guys' effort was excellent. Especially at the end when we were searching for that last goal. ... If you keep it 1-0, teams are always still in the game. At the end we had some good movement, some great opportunities to hit the target and we didn't do so."
On pushing for the second goal ...
"If we went up 2-0 at halftime it would have been a different feel in the lockerroom. In the second half they were sitting in just trying to defend as much as they could and we were trying to attack as much as we could. I don't think their goalkeeper had any spectacular saves, and that is possibly down to us missing the target. I think in the last 20-30 yards today we were off. We put them under pressure but not enough to get that second goal. I think if we score the second, the possibility of us winning this game is good. As everyone knows, the hardest thing to do is to score, especially when a team is sitting in the box pretty well."
Thoughts on the match ...
"We defended pretty well. We didn't put away our chances. I thought we had the better of the chances tonight. It was a tough one. At the end of the day, we know we missed our chances and it is going to come down to the last two games of the season."
On the team's defense ...
"Our defense was fine. We were a little bit flat today compared to past games we have played. We thought we came out a little flat. We need to take the positives out of this, put them into Portland and then hopefully get a home victory [against LA]."
Thoughts on the match ...
"In the second half we got control of the game and kept them under pressure. Defensively, there is still a lot to learn. We were a little too high up in the first half on the goal and we paid for it. It's nice when you have a guy like Geoff Cameron back there who has that kind of speed to cover that kind of ground. Defensively there were some positives but it's hard to look at positives when you have that sour taste in your mouth. You feel as if you should have come away with three points."
Thoughts on the playoff race ...
"We knew it would come down to the last two games. It is always going to be tough when the things are tight. We just need to be strong, be ready for it and take care of ourselves. We have a weekend off, so we need to lick our wounds, figure some things out and come ready for Portland."