HOUSTON – Saturday’s second half will go down as one of the most frustrating for the Houston Dynamo this season.
With Houston seeking a win to solidify their playoff position, they pumped chance after chance at the Montreal Impact, who took their chances as well to stay in the race, goal late. But try as they might, nothing found the back of the net and they were forced to settle for a frustrating 1-1 draw.
“It was pretty wide open, it’s not something you like as a center back,” Bobby Boswell said of the frantic final minutes. “We had our chances and, sometimes when you play like that, you take some more risks. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get that second one.”
A big part of Houston’s late efforts came from second-half subs Cam Weaver and Brian Ching. The pair entered the game with 18 minutes and put a combined five shots on goal, not including what looked to be Ching’s last-gasp winner. But between the woodwork and some quality work from Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins, it went for naught.
“I thought we did everything right [except for] getting in the back of the net,” said Weaver. “In the end, it’s about the ball crossing that line and hitting the back of the net and, unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that.”
The draw left the Dynamo with 50 points and in danger of slipping out of playoff positioning. But thanks to Sunday’s 1-1 result between Columbus and Sporting Kansas City, Houston remained in fifth place, one point ahead of the Crew.
“We live to fight another day and we still have some business to attend to,” said Boswell. “Our destiny’s still in our hands, but we’ve made it a little tougher on ourselves.”
Respect for Perkins
Perkins played a big role in Houston’s late frustration. The Impact ‘keeper was credited with five saves on the night, three coming off Mac Kandji, who forced three top-shelf saves of both of the diving and leaping variety, along with one each from Ching and Weaver.
“I think low and hard, he’s got to be one of the best keepers in the league at saving those low shots,” Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall said of his counterpart. “I’ve got a lot of respect for him and the way he goes about his business. It would be great to have one of those going in, but you have to give Troy a lot of credit.”
After Saturday’s draw, internationals Andre Hainault (Canada), Boniek García (Honduras) and Jamaicans Je-Vaughn Watson and Jermaine Taylor departed the team to join their respective nations heading into Friday’s World Cup qualifiers. The quartet will be back in time for the Oct. 20 match against the Philadelphia Union.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.