As he has so many times in his career, Brian Ching was there when his teammates needed him most.
Ching’s first goal of 2012 was the all-important equalizer of a 2-2 result against the Columbus Crew on the road on Saturday night, the team’s second straight road draw.
After watching a 1-0 lead deteriorate into a 2-1 deficit in the span of 11 minutes midway through the second half, the Dynamo captain found a spot at the back post and calmly finished a Will Bruin cross in the 81st minute to earn Houston a share of the spoils.
“[Bruin] made a great play sending it across the goal and I knew he may send it across, and he did and I was able to get on the end of it,” Ching told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “I thought we did a great job fighting back. Getting the first goal [of the season] feels good and I’m just happy I could help the team out.”
Ching’s winner comes a week after his strike partner Bruin broke through and scored an equalizer off a great ball from Ching in a 1-1 draw against Chicago. This week the roles were reversed as Bruin – who scored for the second goal in as many weeks with a 59th minute header - was the one setting Ching up for success.
The veteran – who surpassed 15,000 minutes played Saturday night - knew exactly what to do with it.
“It was a good ball from Will and Brian did well to make a good run through and put a really good touch on it to score,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com. “He’s a good player and when he’s on the field he helps us. He’s a good player on and off the ball. He works, is a good goal scorer and is smart.”
After Bruin’s opening goal, the Crew took control of the match and Eddie Gaven used some luck on his first goal and pure skill on a 74th-minute laser to put the home team up a goal heading down the stretch.
But as has been the case throughout Ching’s career, he was in position to help his team when it mattered.
“You can always come up with a time where he’s come up clutch and tonight’s no different,” said Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, who made three saves on the night. “Ching was in the right spot at the right time. He’s made a career of clutch goals doing that so it was no surprise he did that tonight.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com..
WATCH: Ching scores late equalizer