Recap: Dueling strikers give Houston, Toronto 3-3 draw
HOUSTON – In a midweek thriller, Houston used some late magic from sophomore striker Will Bruin in to save a 3-3 result against Toronto FC on Wednesday night and stayed undefeated in 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 deficit. His home heroics overshadowed a fantastic first half performance from TFC Designated Player 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 former 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 Dominic 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 for Cameron, who hit a pinpoint 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) move 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.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Will Bruin||Found space constantly, and scuffed numerous chances in the first half. Shook it off like good strikers do for the second-half brace.|
|2||Danny Koevermans||If there's a player in the league for Bruin to emulate, it's probably Koevermans. The Dutch scoring machine is officially out of his slump.|
|3||Brad Davis||Struggled getting past Jeremy Hall in the first half, but eventually took his measure and became the second half's creative force.|