The Houston Dynamo earned a vital point in the push for a playoff berth after drawing with Columbus Crew SC this evening at BBVA Stadium, 1-1.
Houston opened the scoring in the 37th minute when midfielder Memo Rodriguez followed his own shot and tapped in the rebound to make it 1-0. The midfielder took the first shot on the play with a first-touch effort off of a centering pass from forward Niko Hansen, who sent the ball into the box from the right flank.
Rodriguez’s initial shot forced a save on Columbus goalkeeper Eloy Room, but the homegrown midfielder hustled to follow his shot and banged home the rebound, crashing into the net himself on the follow-through.
Columbus leveled the game in the 67th minute when midfielder Luis Diaz forced an own goal with a low, hard cross in front of the net that sent both Dynamo center backs sliding to cut it out. The cross deflected off the leg of defender Victor Cabrera and into the back of the net.
In the 74th minute, Hansen found a ball outside the box, dribbling and firing a hard shot on target that was deflected by the Columbus defense.
Goalkeeper Marko Marić wasn’t tested for long stretches of the match as Houston controlled the flow of play and limited Columbus to just eight shots and one on goal, but he came up big to prevent a late game-winner for Columbus when forward Youness Mokhtar forced the first save on the Dynamo goalkeeper in the 81st minute.
Houston’s best chance at a winner came in the 89th minute when defender Jose Bizama, a second-half substitute, crossed a ball in the ball to find forward Darwin Quintero near the penalty spot. The Colombian playmaker blistered a shot toward the goal, but it passed just over the crossbar for a goal kick.
The draw allowed the Dynamo to keep pace with their fellow playoff hopefuls, leaving Houston tied for the final playoff spot with Vancouver and Real Salt Lake, pending their respective results later this evening. With three matches remaining in the regular season, the Dynamo next head to the West Coast to take on Los Angeles FC on Wednesday night. Kickoff for that match is set for 9:30 p.m. CDT, and it will be televised live throughout the Greater Houston area on QuestTEXAS Ch. 55 in English and TelExitos Ch. 47.1 in Spanish. The match may also be heard on radio in Spanish on Univision Radio 1010 AM.
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