BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Chicago Fire let the Houston Dynamo hang around all game at Toyota Park, and the Dynamo took advantage with just seconds to spare by snagging a 90th-minute equalizer in a 1-1 tie on Sunday afternoon.
Adam Moffat salvaged a point for the Dynamo, taking a clever backheel from Corey Ashe and ripping a laser into the upper 90 to keep the Fire from jumping ahead of Houston and into a playoff spot.
Chicago weren't able to convert on a bevy of chances, but it looked like that might not matter after Bobby Boswell played a header into his own goal in the 37th minute. Mike Magee's service found its way past Jeff Larentowicz's head and deflected off of Boswell past goalkeeper Tally Hall to give the Fire a 1-0 lead.
It was a deserved lead, as Chicago dominated much of the first hour thanks largely to the efforts of Dilly Duka. The winger created a number of good chances, and had some himself, but the scrambling Dynamo defense was able to extinguish every threat.
Houston best chance of the day when Will Bruin received a pass from Giles Barnes and broke through the Fire defense before his open shot was saved by Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson, just four minutes in.
The tone of the game changed over the last half hour as Chicago went into a shell and Houston began to dominate possession. That allowed Ashe, who came on at the end of the first half for an injured Eric Brunner, to push higher into the attack and create width for the visitors.
It paid off on the equalizer, Moffat’s third goal of the year.
In stoppage time, Jalil Anibaba's header off of a Mage free kick appeared to be heading to the lower corner, but Hall was able to make an outstanding save to preserve the point.
The Fire had a chance to jump into a tie for a playoff spot for the first time this season, but the loss kept them in seventh place. They'll head to Seattle next Saturday to face the Sounders, when they'll try to gain on the Dynamo, who are two points ahead of them.
The Dynamo, who are now tied with New England for the fifth and final playoff spot with a game in hand, head to Columbus on Wednesday before hosting New York next Sunday.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Sean Johnson||Huge save early, brave off his line throughout and several nice plays late as well. Could do nothing on the goal.|
|2||Dilly Duka||Fire fans have to be scratching their heads at that sub - Duka was dominant, and when he came off the game changed|
|3||Adam Moffat||A week after the nightmare in Montreal, Moffat put in a strong all-around shift and capped it with another memorable goal|