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Dynamo unable to keep 2-0 lead, draw Columbus Crew at home

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Giles Barnes and a Columbus Crew own goal saw the Dynamo go into halftime up 2-0, but the Crew fought back early in the 2nd half to steal a draw at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Trask Smith, Blue City Photography

It's only been a few weeks since these two teams last faced off which saw the Crew take 3 points at home in a tough 3-0 loss for the Dynamo. Since then the Dynamo were able to pick up a road win against Sporting Kansas City, but they lost a number of players to injury including starting goalkeeper Tally Hall, leading goal scorer Will Bruin, and versatile defenderJermaine Taylor - none of whom were active tonight. The Dynamo did get back Kofi Sarkodie who served his yellow card accumulation suspension and returned to his usual right back position.

Just a few minutes into the match Waylon Francis and Oscar Boniek Garcia bumped heads going for a header. Referee Ricardo Salazar immediately called for medical attention, but both players were soon up and Boniek was all smiles (as usual). Moments later, a poor clearance by DaMarcus Beasley gifted a chance for Ethan Finlay, but his shot sailed way over the top of the goal.

The Crew had looked the more dangerous side in the opening minutes, but the Dynamo soon found their stride as Omar Cummings made a brilliant run down to the goal line and played a ball to a wide open Ricardo Clark whose shot was stopped by Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark. The Dynamo would open up the scoring at BBVA Compass Stadium in the 12thminute and it would be off a set piece. Brad Davis delivered a beautiful corner kick in to A.J. Cochran and the ball found its way in the back of the net. Though initially ruled a goal by Cochran, it was reviewed and later listed as an own goal by Crew forward Aaron Schoenfeld.

In a bizarre incident, the Columbus Crew were awarded a penalty kick by head referee Salazar following a corner. Salazar talked it over with the assistant referee and overturned his own decision and gave the Dynamo a goal kick.

The Dynamo continued their strong play through the midfield and found its forwards, but the visitors hadn't yet given up as they generated plenty of opportunities of their own. Tony Tchani played a beautiful ball around Horst and beat Horst to it using his own strength and speed to try for goal, but the shot went wide.

Giles Barnes continued his scoring run in the 38th minute as Omar Cummings sent him a perfectly weighted ball that Barnes easily chipped the keeper with. The two paired very well last week against Montreal and they continued right where they left off which helped send the Dynamo up 2-0 into the half.

The Columbus Crew came out swinging as soon as the second half began. In the 48th minute, Wil Trapp took advantage of space in front of him and ripped a shot from outside of the 18 yard box and was able to beat Tyler Deric. The Crew weren't done as they were able to equalize in the 52nd minute. Francis was able to send in a perfect cross that found a wide open Ethan Finlay whose header beat Deric to level things at BBVA Compass Stadium.

The Dynamo tried to change the momentum of the game into their favor following a brilliant run by DaMarcus Beasley. Beasley carved through the midfield and recognized space around him closing so he pushed the ball out wide to Andrew Driver. Driver played in a ball to an open Brian Ownby who was whistled for being in the offside position.

In the 76th minute Francis was back sending in dangerous balls, but this time Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric was there to punch the ball away to safety to keep both teams level. Referee Ricardo Salazar again called for a Columbus Crew penalty after A.J. Cochran cleared a ball, but after talking with his linesman it was ruled that it was in fact off Cochran's head and not a penalty.

The Dynamo tried to find a game winning goal in the 88th minute. Giles Barnes nearly caught the Crew defense napping as he was able to send in a great cross to Andrew Driver, but Driver's header went wide. Less than a minute later, Brian Ownby tried to make a run down the sideline, but was shoved off the ball by Waylon Francis who earned a yellow card for the push.

After the dust settled and the final whistle blew, the Dynamo drew Columbus 2-2 at home. The result gives the Dynamo 32 points, which is 5 points out from the final playoff spot. While the Dynamo were active and challenged the Crew defense often in the first half, the second half can best be described by Glenn Davis's words, "deflating". The Dynamo lacked creativity after early substitutions to Boniek and Brad Davis and poor marking allowed Columbus back in the game. The Dynamo's next game is another important Eastern Conference matchup against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park.