MLS- Houston Dynamo

Early Nyarko goal sets the tone as Fire topple Dynamo to grab third place in East

PatrickNyarko (ISIPhotos.com)


BRIDGEVIEW, IL- On a night when the Chicago Fire needed a result badly to keep their playoff prospects strong, Patrick Nyarko helped deliver a dream start.

The rest of Nyarko's FIre teammates saw to it that the perfect start culminated in the ideal result.

Nyarko scored a first-minute goal that gave the Fire a lead they never relinquished. Midfielders Daniel Paladini and Alex provided two more goals as the Fire cruised to a 3-1 victory at Toyota Park. The victory moved the Fire into sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference. The loss pushed Houston's winless streak to three matches.

Paladini returned to the starting lineup in place of injured Fire captain Logan Pause and scored in his second straight game. Sherjill MacDonald picked out a streaking Paladini for Chicago's second goal in the 21st minute. A Houston goal from Brian Ching in the 90th minute made the score 2-1, but the Dynamo got no closer as Brazilian midfielder Alex sealed the Fire victory with a last-minute tally.

Although Houston carried a 70 percent possession advantage in the match, they found it difficult to gain any flow offensively. Chicago's defense had a much stronger showing against Houston's forwards, with the centerback pairing of Arne Friedrich and Austin Berry continuing their stellar form in the middle. They effectively shut down Macoumba Kandji and Will Bruin and snuffed out the Houston attack.

Houston's only goal would come in the 90th minute, as a Brad Davis corner kick found Brian Ching, who's header would make its way by Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson and prevent a shutout in an otherwise stellar performance.

What did you think of the match? Starting to see Chicago as a serious contender for the top spot in the East? Wondering whether the Dynamo can turn things around?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Mike r

    Dynamo had 70% possession because the Fire was up 2-0 at half time and sat back te whole second half.


  • matt

    Dynamo also had about 70% of the possession in the first half too, Fire just took advantage of 2 Houston mistakes. Houston always wins the possession battle.


  • Modibo

    Dynamo had 67% of the possession compared to Chicago’s 33%.

    Shots were more even though – 15 for Houston, 12 for Chicago. Shots on target 6 for Houston, 4 for Chicago.

    Message to Dom Kinnear: work on finishing!

    I would feel bad for the Dynamo… but I don’t, if they can’t finish their chances legally or prevent turnovers in their defensive third that get them punished.


  • Patrick

    I didn’t watch the game but I’m pretty sure the same old same old happened: Kanji continues to create chances but fails to finish, Houston is still not taking chances when they should be, and Carr just simply sucks. Was I right?


  • A. Ruiz

    Yep. Except Kanji only created and took advantage one real chance, scored off a mistake by Sean Johnson and it was called back by the AR.
    After that, Nada.

    Every chance the Dynamo did create was stonewalled by Johnson who didn’t make a single mistake after Kanji’s “goal”, he had a few terrific saves of the “How’d he’d do that” variety.


  • Ryan

    That may be true but winning the possession battle does no good if you don’t get any points.


  • Rene

    yeah Sean!! that’s why he is on the USMT. Now about the game. Possession on the field is no more important than number of fans in the stand. Each can only help you a teeny tiny bit. It is BRAIN and skill. 1st you out fox your opponent(brain),then you score the goal(skill). Remember this is the game where the player must think for himself (& think fast)and then finish either the pass or the shot ahead of your opponents thinking and attacking skills. That is why Houston struggled to finish against the FIRE.


  • AC

    The score should’ve been 5-1 or 6-1. The FIRE should’ve had 2-3 mores goals. How many did Flaco miss; like 2 clear chances…


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