HOUSTON – Before Sunday’s match Adam Moffat told close friend and Columbus Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum that he was going to “‘hit a bomb on you,’ to which the 'keeper replied, ‘I’m waiting for it.’”
Fortunately for the Dynamo, while the Crew ‘keeper was indeed ready, the bounce of the ball finally went their way.
With Houston unable to finish off a number of chances to equalize in the final 30 minutes, Moffat thrilled the home crowd with an 82nd minute equalizer that came thanks to Gruenebaum’s ill-fated attempt to push the ball over the crossbar that instead sent it trickling into the Crew net.
GOAL: Moffat strike slips through Gruenebaum's fingers
“Andy Gruenebaum is a good friend of mine and maybe that was a gift for my baby that was born a few months ago or that’s what I’ll tell him,” Moffat said with a laugh. “He’s been huge for them this year … It was a good feeling, good to score because he’s a good goalkeeper and we were trying to get back in the game.”
One thing that aided Moffat’s effort was a quick decision to settle the ball and take it with his left. The midfielder said after the match that the Crew “probably expected me to take it with my right foot.” His quick move to his caught the Crew and some of his teammates by surprise.
“I thought he should’ve shot it with his right foot,” defender Bobby Boswell said. “It’s funny when you hear all the fans yell shoot but it went through a lot of people. I’m just happy it went in. John Spencer used to say ‘If you want to win the prize you have to buy a ticket’ and credit to him to take it with his left foot.”
Moffat’s late game heroics turned around a night that looked to be headed for Houston’s first taste of defeat at home in fourteen months.
Trailing for the first time since June 20 after Eddie Gaven capped a well-orchestrated counter to put the Dynamo behind with a half-hour to go, Houston took more than their fair share of chances. Brad Davis had two attempts; Will Bruin added another as they pumped countless balls into the box to little avail.
“It was funny with all the chances and opportunities that had for that one to go in that’s just the way the game is sometimes,” said Brad Davis who scored the opener in the 19th minute. “It can be a cruel game but a great game at times and that’s why you have to keep pushing. Out of all of them the one that goes to the goalie going in but we’ll take whatever we can get.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.