HOUSTON – Down a man in the dying stages of the game, an 87th-minute blast off the foot of the Houston Dynamo's Colin Clark saved a result for the home side in a physical 2-2 draw against rivals FC Dallas.
Down a man since the 73rd minute, the Dynamo looked destined to fall to their neighbors to the north. However, a sharp through ball from Brad Davis – who notched two assists on the night - to second-half sub Clark changed the result. Clark beat Dallas defender Zach Loyd to the ball and fired a low shot past Kevin Hartman to secure a share of the spoils.
Ugo Ihemelu scored what looked to be a winner for FCD in the 70th minute, when he found himself free at the edge of the six-yard box. The defender notched his second goal of the year when he deposited a crisp Marvin Chávez corner kick past a diving Tally Hall.
The rivals traded goals in the first half. Despite Houston having the possession and passing advantage in the first stanza, FC Dallas drew first blood in the 27th minute, when Andrew Jacobson made the Dynamo pay by heading in a rebounded Fabian Castillo shot from 18 yards out. Castillo pulled up and screamed a 25-yard shot off the crossbar. Hall made a leaping attempt to save Castillo's effort, leaving an open net for Jacobson, who converted a rainbow header for Dallas’ first tally in the game and his first of the year.
Reeling from the goal, Houston responded with a 42nd-minute skipping shot from Cam Weaver to draw even heading into the half. League assist leader Brad Davis added to his splendid 2011 start, picking out a wide open Weaver at the back of the box. Weaver held up his run and let the Dallas defense push toward goal, presenting a big target for Davis, who set the 6-foot-4 forward up for his skidding shot past Hartman. Weaver’s goal was his fourth of the season – tying him with Will Bruin for the team lead – and ended FCD's 531-minute scoreless streak.
In what looked to be a devastating three-minute stretch, the Dynamo went down a man when Kofi Sarkodie was sent off for yellow card accumulation when he fouled Brek Shea from behind. Sarkodie’s first yellow came on a 57th-minute foul on Chávez from behind.
Sarkodie’s yellows were accompanied by cautions for Houston’s Lovel Palmer and FC Dallas’ Zach Loyd. Palmer drew the referee’s ire with a challenge from behind on a streaking Shea in the 30th minute and Loyd drew the caution for a sliding challenge that cut Geoff Cameron down just before the half. Loyd made another questionable challenge that brought Cameron down in the second half but was given a warning, avoiding the ejection.
Shea was also awarded a yellow in second-half stoppage time for unsporting behavior after he kicked a ball into the stands.
The draw pushes the Dynamo to 15 points ahead of a trip to San Jose on the weekend. FC Dallas improve to 22 points and will host the New England Revolution at Pizza Hut Park next Saturday. The second leg of the Texas Derby will take place Sept. 24 at Pizza Hut Park.
DAL -- Andrew Jacobson 1 (unassisted) 27
HOU -- Cam Weaver 4 (Brad Davis 7) 42
DAL -- Ugo Ihemelu 2 (Marvin Chavez 4) 70
HOU -- Colin Clark 2 (Brad Davis 8, Cam Weaver 1) 87
HOU -- Lovel Palmer (caution; Reckless Tackle) 30
DAL -- Zach Loyd (caution; Reckless Tackle) 46+
HOU -- Kofi Sarkodie (caution; Tactical Foul) 56
HOU -- Kofi Sarkodie (caution; Reckless Tackle) 72
HOU -- Kofi Sarkodie (ejection; Second Caution) 72
DAL -- Brek Shea (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 91+
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Jackson Goncalves (Jair Benitez 46), Ugo Ihemelu, Bobby Warshaw, Zach Loyd, Eric Alexander (Milton Rodriguez 64), Daniel Hernandez, Andrew Jacobson, Brek Shea, Marvin Chavez, Fabian Castillo (Ricardo Villar 84).
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Avila, Bruno Guarda, Ruben Luna, Chris Seitz.
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie, Andre Hainault, Jermaine Taylor (Alex Dixon 84), Mike Chabala, Je-Vaughn Watson (Colin Clark 66), Geoff Cameron, Lovel Palmer, Brad Davis, Cam Weaver, Will Bruin (Koke 75).
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Boswell, Hunter Freeman, Jason Garey, Tyler Deric.
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Referee's Assistants: -George Gansner; Eric Boria
4th Official: Armando Villarreal
Weather: Clear and 86 degrees