Photo by Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports Images
By DAN KARELL
The Houston Dynamo were cruising towards their third straight win after the first 45 minutes on Saturday evening.
The second 45 minutes though were a different story.
Behind to two goals scored in a nine-minute span early in the second half, the Columbus Crew stunned the Dynamo as both teams settled for a point in a 2-2 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium. Back from a one-game suspension, Crew midfielder Wil Trapp scored his first professional goal, while the Dynamo lost two key starters, Oscar Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis, to earlier-than expected-substitutions.
The Dynamo got off to a positive start in the 12th minute thanks to an own goal. Davis curled an out-swinging corner kick towards the near post run of A.J. Cochrane. The rookie rose high in their air but the ball actually made contact with his marker, Aaron Schoenfeld, who re-directed it past Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark for the game’s opening goal.
Playing some of their best soccer of the season, the Dynamo added their second goal in the 38th minute, when Omar Cummings ran at the defense and played a perfect ball forward to Giles Barnes. Barnes run took Clark out of the goal and the Englishman was able to chip a ball home.
Following two halftime substitutions, the Crew came out like a renewed team. Taking a strike from far in the 48th minute, Trapp found the net with a long-range blast. It was his first MLS goal in 38 matches over the last two seasons.
Nine minutes later, the Crew struck again. Waylon Francis marauded forward down the left wing and sent in a great cross to the far post. Ethan Finlay found himself unmarked and headed a ball past Tyler Deric to stunningly tie the match.
The Crew had a late penalty kick shout reversed by the assistant referees after the referee pointed to the spot.
A draw was a tough result for both teams, as a number of other Eastern Conference squads dropped points on Saturday evening. With the draw, the Dynamo now sit in eighth place with 32 points, five points behind the fifth-placed Columbus Crew, who occupy the final playoff spot.
Here are the game highlights: