The first half went relatively back and forth. Chances were had by both teams, but neither could capitalize on the opportunities. Both keepers looked at the tip top of their game, and it would take a substitution for each team for either to find the back of the net.
In the 64th minute, the New England Revolution took the lead with some suspect defense on the left flank (I'm looking at you, Corey Ashe and Jermaine Taylor) when Saer Sene found some space out wide, nailing home a shallow-angle shot past Tally Hall. Nobody is really certain who is at fault, though I believe both Ashe and Taylor deserve a significant portion of the blame as no player should find themselves with that much space and time in a position they can score.
Thankfully, the Dancing Bear was more than up to the challenge, and after Cam Weaver subbed in for Warren Creavalle shortly after the Revolution goal, he found the back of the net with a blast past a helpless Matt Reis. It all started with a deflection off a Weaver shot, which Boniek Garcia took comfortably and then split the defense with an absolutely perfect pass to a streaking Will Bruin.
The Dynamo goal would prove to be the last of the match, even though both teams pressed for another. Also of note was the continued lack of consistent and quality officiating. I'm still not sure how MLS can continue to trot out these hacks and expect fans to be ok with it. At this point it is past comical, to the point of depressing.
The most blatant case came on two very similar instances, but with entirely different results. Early in the 1st half, Lee Nguyen made his way up the left side, backing down Brad Davis along the end line. As he did so, he raised and connected with not one, not two, but three separate swinging elbows to the face of Davis. Not only was the assistant referee in clear sight of the overly physical play, but Brad Davis was called for a foul.
To make matters worse, in the 2nd half away from the ball, Davis led into Nguyen with a shoulder, nothing close to the same physicality of three elbows to the face, but I digress. Not only was a foul called on Davis, he was yellow-carded in what can only be described as the worst case of a referee having no clue what was going on.
Oh, but don't worry Dynamo faithful, word has it Nguyen might actually be suspended by the Disciplinary Committee for the earlier elbows. As long as that does indeed happen, I will be willing to let the David yellow card go, even if such a yellow card adds to accumulation totals in an absolutely essential stretch where every point counts.
NYRB - 51, SKC - 48, Montreal - 46, Houston - 44, Philly - 42, New England - 41, Chicago - 40, Columbus - 38
Seriously, can it get any closer than that? With 4 matches left to play, all of those teams still have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. And while it crazy to consider, the Dynamo actually still stand a chance at nabbing anywhere from 1st to not even making the playoffs.
In order to nab 1st, the Dynamo would certainly need some losses from NYRB, SKC and Montreal ahead of them, but with all 3 coming up in the next 3 games in a three-game home stand it isn't impossible. The Dynamo need to win each home game, to apply to pressure at the top, and then leave it up to the soccer gods to figure out the rest.