Brian Ching hadn't scored at hat trick since the Dynamo's inaugural match in 2006 when he put four in the net against the Colorado Rapids. With Houston in desperate need of three points, Ching took it upon himself to end the Dynamo's goal scoring woes, netting three of the team's four goals, including the game winner.
The goal everyone was talking about was actually Ching's second and after the match, the hat trick hero was asked about his highlight reel bicycle kick strike. "You don't really think about those things, they're just kind of instinctive," said Ching. "I was hoping I wouldn't kick anybody in the face and I connected on a good one"
Dominic Kinnear was pleased as well with the result and expressed an opinion likely shared by the 18,000 plus Dynamo fans in attendance. "Brian Ching was fantastic tonight, thank goodness for Brian Ching".
Truer words may never have been spoken.
Dynamo defender Mike Chabala was impressed by the goal as well, "Freaking awesome, anybody that likes soccer watching this game tonight, I think they got a show".
Ching has struggled since returning from injury and his breakout performance couldn't have come at a better time for the Dynamo who were battling for their playoff lives. To make a realistic run at the final spot in the MLS Cup playoffs, Houston will need to get every point possible down the stretch and getting the full result at home is an absolute necessity.
The Dynamo came out the aggressors and pressed Chicago early generating some excellent chances on goal. Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson and his crossbar kept the Dynamo out of the net for awhile but the first break came in the 31st minute when Johnson lost control of the ball after hitting the ground hard. It fell right to Ching's feet and he buried the shot easily to give Houston a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Lovel Palmer made in 2-0 in the 50th minute with a beautifully struck low ball that moved through traffic and befuddled Johnson. After Calen Carr made it 2-1, the Dynamo answered back with Ching's acrobatic goal, making the game 3-1 and leaving most fans feeling comfortable, but that feeling was short lived.
An own goal from Bobby Boswell brought the Fire back within one in the 70th minute and just eleven minutes later Chicago equalized on a Wilman Conde header off a corner. Whether or not Conde should have still be in the game was subject to debate after the Fire defender was inexplicably not shown a second yellow by referee Kevin Stott for an obvious foul. "I thought Wilman Conde should have been sent off before that anyways and he shouldn't of scored, that was first thought," Kinnear said in his post game press conference, "My second thought was shame on us for them getting one off a corner kick".
The goal took the air out of Robertson Stadium, but the night's hero Brian Ching brought the place back to life as he completed his hat trick in the 85th minute.
Post Match Quotes
"I think this whole week our emphasis has been to try to enjoy playing soccer. When you're not winning it kinda sucks the joy out of it ando this whole week we've done things off the field together as a group and just tried to enjoy ourselves and I think you saw the result of that tonight"
I was extremely happy to score that goal and hopefully get the monkey off my back with first easy goal, sometimes you need a little bit of luck and then the floodgates opened. Hopefully I can continue on this momentum and the team can as well"
"Overall I think it's one of the better games that we played, especially with the ball at our feet, in a long time and i'm happy for the guys. It's been a tough season and we still have some more to go her but to keep coming back as we did there at the end just shows that these guys have wonderful heart, wonderful character and hopefully this spurs us on to something great"
"We can't do that, we can't give up three goals but we'll take the win"