Most of the match was characterized by back and forth attacks with no reward, but a two minute time span in the second half saw both sides score once. Houston thought they had found the opening goal in the 18th minute, but Bobby Boswell’s strike was waved offside on a close call. Then 22,039 fans at BBVA Compass Stadium were already in a frenzy and the Bro Hymn was blaring, but it proved to be without purpose.
The score would remain scoreless as the first half came to an end. Andrew Driver injured his right Achilles tendon, forcing his night to come to an end early. Brad Davis would enter for Driver in just the fifteenth minute of play, marking his 300th MLS game. Davis had been dealing with injuries and it was not entirely clear whether or not he would be able to play in the match, but performed well in the seventy-five minutes he played. Joel Lindpere would be called for a yellow card after making a play on Davis in the twenty-seventh minute.
Giles Barnes would force a second injury-induced substitution after taking out Alex hard and earned a yellow card. Alex remained in the match for a few minutes afterwards, but was uncomfortable on the pitch. Daniel Paladini would substitute for Alex, playing for a longer period of time than typical for the “super-sub” player.
The second half was more eventful, but also ended level. Cam Weaver found a Brad Davis slot pass inside the box and buried it for his first goal in two years, and the first for a Dynamo striker since May 8th, in the sixty-first minute of play. Just two minutes later, Mike Magee equalized both the match and the Golden Boot race, tying Camilo Sanvezzo of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC with thirteen league goals on the season (six with the LA Galaxy, seven with Chicago). Patrick Nyarko fed Magee the pass, and is drawing closer to becoming fifth all-time in assists for the Fire.
Lindpere would come off for Quincy Amarikwa, suggesting that Fire coach Frank Klopas was, at the time, determined to earn an additional two points in standings with the win; however, Logan Pause entering in the eighty-first minute for Chris Rolfe suggested that perhaps Klopas was keen on settling for a draw on the road by that time. Warren Creavalle entered for Ricardo Clark in the sixty-ninth minute, and Jason Johnson would do the same for Cam Weaver, who had scored the lone Houston goal, in the seventy-ninth minute of play.
The Fire could have had an excellent opportunity to win the game in the eighty-eighth minute, but no penalty was called after a double-team take-down inside the penalty box.
Weaver led all players with five shots in the game, followed by Nyarko’s three. Both players, as well as Mike Magee, put two on target. Tally Hall was forced to make five saves, as opposed to Paolo Tornaghi’s three , in what was probably Tornaghi’s best performance of the season. The Dyanmos’s sixteen shots bested the Fire’s ten, though it was Chicago that actually put more on target, leading that category six to five. Each team committed nine fouls, and the Dynamo led possession 58.4% to 41.6%. The Fire did lead in duels won, winning 54%.
The Fire travel to Philadelphia next for their August 3rd match against the Union. The game will take place at 7PM Central, and will be broadcast on My50 Chicago in English, and over the radio in Spanish on La Ley 107.9 FM. The team will then host D.C. United in the U.S. Open Cup Semifinals at Toyota Park on August 7th, and return to league play on August 10th, hosting the Impact de Montréal.
Mike Magee will make another stop prior to the Philadelphia match, as a member of the 2013 MLS All-Star Team on July 31st. The MLS All-Stars will host AS Roma of Serie A at Sporting Park – home of Sporting Kansas City – in Kansas City, Kansas.
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