Apr 15, 2012; Bridgeview IL, USA; Houston Dynamo forward Will Bruin (12) celebrates his goal with forward Brian Ching (25) against the Chicago Fire during the first half at Toyota Park. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-US PRESSWIRE
The Dynamo waited over three weeks to get back on the pitch for a competitive match, by 9:15pm CT on Sunday night they'd only managed to complete 66 minutes of action. Despite weather forcing the game to be ended early, the Dynamo and Fire played the required 60 minutes for an official game, so the 1-1 result stands. It's an odd finish to say the least, but considering Houston was a bit rusty and missing some key players, a draw on the road against an Eastern Conference foe is just fine.
The match kicked off on time but the rain started shortly after the opening whistle and in the 13th minute, lightning forced the teams off the pitch and began the first weather delay that lasted nearly an hour. The teams returned to the pitch and resumed played, completing the first half and roughly 20 minutes of the second half before a strong line of storms moved in the Chicago area, shutting things down for the night.
In the 24th minute, we finally saw the connection between Brian Ching and Will Bruin we've been waiting for. After a strong preseason, Bruin had been unable to break through with a goal, but a perfect pass from Ching allowed Bruin to split the Fire defense and beat goalkeeper Sean Johnson one on one to put Houston ahead. Unfortunately the lead would only last three minutes.
After a foul just outside the Dynamo box, either on Ching for a jersey pull or Je-Vaughn Watson for sliding in late, Pavel Pardo's free kick deflected off Logan Pause and eluded Tally Hall to pull the Fire even. It was an unfortunate deflection that Hall could do nothing with and the third goal conceded by Houston this season due to a deflection.
When the rain and lightning returned in the 66th minute, it was if mother nature knew the Dynamo needed to get off the pitch. The previous 10 minutes had been pretty ragged from both sides, but it was starting to feel like the Fire were titling the field towards the Dynamo goal. Despite waiting nearly another hour, the weather was determined to prevent the match form being completed, so league officials called it an official game.
The Dynamo will now move on and focus on a trip to Columbus to face the Crew next weekend. The draw moved Houston to seven points on the season from four road games, definitely a start we all can be happy with.
Here's a look at the highlights: