Kevin Molino and Robin Lod scored for Minnesota United in the first half, but Darwin Quintero and Maynor Figueroa struck back for the Houston Dynamo in the second, forcing the sides to split the points in a 2-2 draw at BBVA Stadium on Saturday.
Minnesota struck for the opener 11 minutes into the contest after getting loose on the break following a Dynamo giveaway at midfield. Jan Gregus put Molino in on goal down the left side and he lashed home the finish to the far post.
The Dynamo got a chance to equalize just five minutes later, as Minnesota's Michael Boxall was called for a foul in his own area for bringing down Memo Rodriguez. But Quintero had his look from the spot denied by Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, who made a kick-save while sprawling out to his left, allowing the Loons to retain the first-half advantage.
Minnesota would then double their lead right on the stroke of halftime courtesy of Lod, who pounced on a rebound and slid home a shot that Houston goalkeeper Marko Maric couldn't quite keep out of the goal.
Houston pulled one back just before the hour mark after St. Clair came off his line to punch away a cross from Zarek Valentin, only to see it land at the feet of Quintero, who alertly lofted a gorgeous chipped ball into the net.
Molino came within inches of a second in the 66th minute, collecting a cross and uncorking a curling distance shot that looked bound for goal, only to see it denied by a diving Maric to keep Houston within a goal. It would prove consequential as the Dynamo equalized on 69 minutes, when Quintero whipped in a free kick that was saved by St. Clair but headed home on the rebound by Figueroa.
Minnesota were put down a man as the match neared second-half stoppage time, after Gregus was sent off by referee Victor Rivas on Video Review for swinging his arm at a Houston player. The 10-man Loons managed to see out the match, however, and escape with the point.
- 11' - MIN - Kevin Molino | WATCH
- 45'+1 - MIN - Robin Lod | WATCH
- 58' - HOU - Darwin Quintero | WATCH
- 69' - HOU - Maynor Figueroa | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Loons were in a rough run of form coming into the match, having lost four of six since the MLS restart, so they'll be disappointed to not get what would have been a big road win, especially after going up by two goals. Houston, by contrast, have been surging lately, and did well to fight back in the second half. Quintero has been playing out of his mind lately, and as long as he's in this type of form, the Dynamo will make for a tough opponent.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: If Maric doesn't make this diving save on Molino, the Dynamo find themselves in a 3-1 hole. Instead the goalkeeper's heroics set the stage for Figueroa's equalizer just a few minutes later that ultimately allowed Houston to take a point point.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Quintero had the cheeky chipped finish for Houston's first goal and the free kick that led to the equalizer. He's been one of the most dangerous attackers in MLS this season, and continued to show the type of impact he can make when he's on his game in this contest.