In their first match of the Carolina Challenge Cup, the Houston Dynamo fell 3-2 to the Chicago Fire. Adam Moffat and Cam Weaver scored for Houston, but Chicago's offense was too much.
Houston took the lead early with a Adam Moffot goal in the 15th minute, his first of the preseason. It was classic Houston football as Brad Davis set up Weaver from a free kick.
The game was streamed live on www.uslnation.com, but early issues with the feed eventually led to a temporary blackout. When the technical difficulties were eventually fixed, the scoreline read 2-1 Chicago.
The jury is still out if those two goals actually occurred (kidding).
In the 23rd minute, Sherjill MacDonald got around the Houston defense and sent a shot past Tally Hall for the tying goal. Moments later, speedster Patrick Nyarko sent a cross to newly acquired midfielder Dilly Duka who was in the box and surrounded by orange. Duka somehow found a way to knock the ball into the net for the goal ahead goal. After the game, Duka said he wasn't that one that knocked the goal in, but it was a relief since it put the Fire on top and gave them the momentum.
Shortly after the halfway point, Jeff Larentowicz headed in a corner kick from Joel Lindpere for a commanding 3-1 lead. The Chicago offense looked dangerous for most of the match, forcing Tally Hall to make several saves and keep Houston in the game.
Giles Barnes, who came in for Ricardo Clark after an injury in the first half, continued his impressive preseason form nearly getting a goal for Houston in the 64th minute. Sean Johnson knocked the ball out for a corner, and Cam Weaver punished the Fire with a header from the Brad Davis corner kick.
The goals was Weaver's sixth of the preseason.
With the game nearing the end, Chicago drew a late penalty kick in the 82nd minute. Tally Hall came up huge again and blocked attempt from Maicon Santos. Houston had a couple more opportunities to score, but couldn't find the equalizer.
The loss was the first for Houston in the annual preseason tournament (4-1-2). The Dynamo won the competition both times they competed in 2006 and 2007.
Next up for the Dynamo will be the Vancouver Whitecaps who won their opening match 3-2 against the Charleston Battery. Houston and Vancouver will face each other on Wednesday, February 20 at 4 p.m. CST.
Houston Dynamo vs. Chicago Fire
Carolina Challenge Cup
February 16, 2013 - Blackbaud Stadium
HOU - Adam Moffat (Brad Davis) 15
CHI - Sherjill MacDonald (unassisted) 23
CHI - Dilly Duka (Patrick Nyarko) 27
CHI - Jeff Larentowicz (Joel Lindpere) 48
HOU - Cam Weaver (Brad Davis) 64
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie (Eric Brunner 68), Bobby Boswell (Warren Creavalle 68), Jermaine Taylor (Anthony Arena* 68), Mike Chabala* (Jimmy Nealis* 68); Boniek Garcia (Alex Dixon 68), Ricardo Clark (Giles Barnes 36), Adam Moffat (Je-Vaugh Watson 68), Brad Davis (Luiz Camargo 68); Will Bruin (Jason Johnson 68), Cam Weaver (Brian Ching 68)
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Logan Pause (Hunter Jumper 70), Arne Friedrich (Steven Kinney 61), Austin Berry (Michael Videira 83), Gonzalo Segares (Jalil Anibaba 31); Patrick Nyarko (Yazid Atouba 61), Jeff Larentowicz (Wells Thompson 80), Joel Lindpere (Daniel Paladini 66), Dilly Duka (Corben Bone 61); Chris Rolfe (Alex 66), Sherjill MacDonald (Maicon Santos 70)