Late goal by Dynamo yields 1-1 draw with Fire
BY PATRICK Z. MCGAVIN For Sun-Times Media September 1, 2013 8:13PM
BRIDGEVIEW, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Warren Creavalle #5 of the Houston Dynamo battles with Alex #71 of the Chicago Fire during an MLS match at Toyota Park on September 1, 2013 in Bridgeview, Illinois. The Fire and the Dynamo tied 1-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Updated: October 3, 2013 6:26AM
The near uncanny combination of opportunity, skill and luck that was holding the Fire aloft came to a crashing halt as the Houston Dynamo scored a goal in the 90th minute to earn a 1-1 draw Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park.
The Fire ended the afternoon how it started, down two points to the Dynamo for sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Despite holding the lead for 53 minutes, the Fire (10-10-5, 34 points) failed to climb above .500 for the first time this year.
Technically, Houston players were credited with both goals. The Fire seized the 1-0 lead on an own goal in the 37th minute. Fire midfielder Jeff Larentowicz was initially credited with the score originating from forward Mike Magee’s sharply played corner kick. The final touch was changed to Houston defender Bobby Boswell.
Houston (10-8-7) exerted tremendous pressure against the Fire in the closing 12 minutes. Midfielder Adam Moffat delivered the dagger, a strike from about 12 yards after midfielder Corey Ashe sent a pass back to him.
“They were playing a lot back, as teams tend to do in that moment, but we made a good forward movement there, and I give it a little extra on the shot,” Moffat said.
The draw leaves just three home dates left with nine to play. Three of the next four are on the road.
“It’s a shame we didn’t put the game away when we had the opportunity,” Fire coach Frank Klopas said.
“This is a game we practiced for, and we prepared for it,” forward Chris Rolfe said. “Anytime you give up a goal in the 90th minute, that’s a tough one to swallow.”
The Fire managed a 5-1 advantage on shots on goal in the first half.
Sean Johnson recorded three saves for the Fire and nearly secured back-to-back shutouts. Instead, the story shifted to missed chances. Magee hit the post in the 73rd minute.
“We should have been up 2-0 or 3-0 and we gave them a breather,” defender Gonzalo Segares said. “Late in the game, we know how to manage the situation, but they started committing more players and they just kept coming at us.”
With four minutes of extra time put on the clock, the Fire executed a sharp service ball as Magee’s free kick from about 45 yards out found athletic defender Jalil Anibaba elevating above the crowd. Dynamo star keeper Tally Hall made a superb diving stop. He made seven saves, including five in the first half.