HOUSTON – It was death by counterattack for the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night, as a 66th-minute lapse led to a Sanna Nyassi goal and the Montreal Impact’s share of the spoils on a costly night for both teams in a 1-1 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Marco Di Vaio, who took over the playmaking duties in the absence of the injured Felipe, played a sublime turn and through ball to Nyassi, who was persistent cleaning up his own rebound to stun the home crowd and erase an early Houston lead off the foot of Dynamo forward Will Bruin.
Houston’s Brian Ching appeared to pull out the full three points with a chip of Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins in the 93rd minute, but after a conference between referee Chris Penso and assistant referee Jason Cullum, Ching was ruled offside and the goal was waved off.
The draw was a missed opportunity for the Dynamo (13-8-11), who will wait and see if the Columbus Crew can post a win over Sporting Kansas City on Sunday and surpass them into the fifth postseason spot in the Eastern Conference standings. The Crew trail the Dynamo by two points heading into the match.
The draw eliminated the expansion Impact (12-15-5) from postseason contention
The game came to life when Di Vaio and Will Bruin traded early attempts, and then Nyassi nearly broke the ice in the 15th minute. The speedy winger found his way through the Dynamo backline, but his run was stopped when Kofi Sarkodie and Tally Hall deflected shots to keep the Impact at bay.
Minutes later Dynamo midfielder Boniek Garcia, who took the free kick duties in place of the injured Brad Davis, tried a quick dead ball to Mac Kandji, but his header was tipped over by Perkins on a solid night for the Impact ‘keeper.
Houston finally the found the touch when winger Calen Carr shook Impact defender Alessandro Nesta in the box and set Bruin up for a poke at the near post to make it 1-0 in the 44th minute. Bruin’s goal was his 12th of the season and brings him to within one of Ching’s regular season franchise record, set in 2008.
Nyassi, however, capitalized when he found a seam in the Dynamo defense, and coolly beat Hall after the Dynamo goalkeeper denied Nyassi’s first chance at the breakaway.
Second half subs Ching and Cam Weaver, however, nearly pulled the full three points out. Weaver, who added a stoppage time header, took a feed from Ching, but the woodwork turned him away in the 84th minute, and Ching’s close attempt was blocked by Matteo Ferrari on the goal line a minute later.
Both teams return to play Oct. 20 when Houston host the Philadelphia Union, and Montreal travel to Toronto FC.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Troy Perkins||Got peppered all night and kept this one from getting ugly. Just not enough to keep the Impact alive.|
|2||Calen Carr||Schooled a Serie A veteran to set up Houston's lone goal, and was pesky all night.|
|3||Boniek Garcia||Typically dangerous. If the Dynamo do make the postseason, it'll be fun to watch him.|