Ninety minutes down, ninety to go - and nothing yet is solved. With the last minute tap-in from Omar Cummings, the Houston Dynamo salvaged a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal tie with the New York Red Bulls. Yes, you always want to get a win at home, but given the first half of Sunday's match, a draw is a very good finish.
Now, however, the Dynamo will have to finish the job. If they want to advance to the Eastern Conference final for a third straight year, they'll have to get a victory at Red Bull Arena, in Harrison, New Jersey - something that the Dynamo have never been very good at doing. In fact, in ten matches away against the Red Bulls, the Dynamo are a whopping 0-6-4. If they're going to win Wednesday night, they'll have to come prepared to fight the tides of history.
They will, however, have momentum - if it carries over from Sunday - and they'll also be facing a New York side missing perhaps their best defender. Jamison Olave was shown red Sunday for a tackle on Cummings that got all man and no ball, and will thus serve a one-match suspension due to his ejection (side note: New York is 0-3-2 without Olave this season, for those of you who choose to put your faith in stats). This will force Markus Holgersson to his natural centerback position and perhaps give the Dynamo a bit more room to breathe on the wings - both of the expected starting fullbacks are sitting on yellow cards, and might change their game to avoid seeing a possible suspension for accumulation.
Also a card away from suspension are New York's Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill, as well as Houston's Boniek Garcia and Corey Ashe. Whether this affects their playing style is yet to be seen, though all would leave holes in their rosters, should they receive suspensions.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Dynamo can take whatever adjustments they made at the half on Sunday and extend them into this second leg, but if they do, they stand a real chance of advancing. New York had a stellar first half, and the Dynamo answered with a momentum-shifting second half, but this tie is four halves long. There's still plenty of soccer to be played before this is over, and neither side can afford to sit back and wait for something to happen.
Can the Dynamo seize the day and pull off an upset? Only time will tell, and that time is metered out. Whether it takes ninety minutes, 120 minutes, or even penalty kicks, there will be a winner Wednesday night. The Dynamo showed their spirit and their fight by storming back to salvage a draw in the first leg, and they'll need to show more of it if they want to advance further into the postseason. The chance is there - now it's up to the Dynamo to take it.