By RYAN TOLMICH
As the MLS season winds to a close, the Houston Dynamo are in need of a steady stream of victories if the team hopes to resurrect its playoff hopes.
A victory is exactly what the Dynamo got Sunday, with Omar Cummings and Boniek Garcia each scoring in a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Cummings opened the scoring in the 13th minute, as the Jamaican forward played receiver on a perfectly placed cross from midfielder Ricardo Clark.
After collecting the ball on the left, Clark worked into space before firing a cross toward Cummings, who was stationed near the top of the 6-yard box. Cummings rushed in and got a toe to the ball, tapping it past goalkeeper Sean Johnson to give the Dynamo the early lead.
The Dynamo had numerous chances to increase that lead, but the Fire remained in the game due to the heroics of Johnson.
The Fire goalkeeper made three spectacular saves, the first of which came on a Giles Barnes chip in the 37th minute, to keep the Fire’s hopes alive.
Johnson’s best efforts came in the 53rd minute, when he stopped Barnes on a one-on-one chance before making a fingertip save off an A.J. Cochran header on the ensuing corner.
However, not even Johnson could stop the Dynamo from eventually increasing their lead, as Garcia provided the Dynamo with an insurance goal in the 67th minute.
Garcia’s finish came via a beautiful series featuring Brad Davis and Kofi Sarkodie, who played the initial cross into the Fire box. Davis received the ball and headed towards Garcia, who volleyed the ball past Johnson to seal the Dynamo victory.
With the victory, the Dynamo keep the team’s slim hopes alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race. With the season entering the home stretch, the Dynamo head to Red Bull Arena for a weekend clash with the New York Red Bulls, who enter Sunday night in fifth place.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s result all but ends the Fire’s playoff aspirations. However, the Fire can still have plenty of say in the Eastern Conference race, as they visit Philadelphia to face the Union on Thursday.