HOUSTON, Texas (July 3, 2012) – The Chicago Fire (8-5-4; 28 points) used a team defensive effort to shutout the Houston Dynamo (6-5-6; 24 points) and earn a 0-0 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas Tuesday night. The Fire have captured 10 points in the last four matches against Eastern Conference foes and the draw extends the Men in Red’s unbeaten run to four games.
The Fire entered hostile territory and warm conditions for the second match in a row. The Dynamo looked to improve upon its 4-0-2 record at the newly opened soccer-specific stadium and came out pushing for the early goal. Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis blasted a bouncing ball over Sean Johnson’s frame in the 3rd minute. Five minutes later Macoumba Kandji found himself on the end of a hopeful Corey Ashe cross and smashed his effort into the orange side netting.
Similar to Friday’s match at Sporting KC the Fire began to find their own chances as the first half marched on. A series of passes in the middle of the field from Marco Pappa to Chris Rolfe allowed for the newly reacquired striker to spring Dominic Oduro into the penalty area. Oduro’s run found him in between both Dynamo defenders and in on goal, however, the flag was up and the play was whistled dead.
Houston nearly broke the deadlock at the close of the first half. Andre Hainault sent a drifting pass across the field finding Ashe alone on the left flank. Ashe lofted a cross into the box and Will Bruin headed the effort wide of the far post to keep the match level at 0-0 after 45 minutes.
Looking to find a goal in the second half, Fire head man Frank Klopas inserted Alex and Orr Barouch into the team for Oduro and Pappa, respectively. The move almost paid dividends in the 65th minute when Alex played the ball over Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell and sprinted into space before tangling with Boswell and losing the ball.
The Fire nearly found the go-ahead goal in the 80th minute. Gonzalo Segares slotted a ball to Alex on a diagonal run into the Dynamo offensive third. The Brazilian playmaker galloped in on goal before seeing his close range effort deflected out of play.
The home side threw numbers forward as the clock ticked toward 90. A collective defensive effort kept a strong shape and played each crossed ball out of the Fire penalty area. A handled ball on the left side led to a 87th minute Brad Davis free kick which Johnson promptly punched away to keep the match even at 0-0.
The Fire return to Chicago for the Chicago Fire vs. LA Galaxy match Presented by Quaker Oats at Toyota Park on Sunday, July 8 at 2:00 p.m. CT live on ESPN and 97.5 ESPN Deportes.
- The Fire extend its unbeaten streak to four games.
- The Men in Red have gone 3-2-1 in the last six matches against Eastern Conference opponents.
- Sean Johnson tallied his third shutout of the 2012 campaign.
- Dominic Oduro made his 50th appearance in a Fire shirt Tuesday night. The fleet Ghanaian forward has appeared in every match since being acquired from Houston following the first game of the 2011 season.
- Tuesday was only the fourth time this season the Fire failed to score.
- The Fire have only played to one other 0-0 draw, May 9 vs. Real Salt Lake at Toyota Park.
- Fire defender Gonzalo Segares returned to the fold after missing the Sporting KC match on red card suspension.
- Paolo Tornaghi and Federico Puppo missed the match with right ankle sprains. Rafael Robayo is on the mend after suffering a sprained shoulder. Sebastian Grazzini remained in Chicago to tend to personal matters.
Chicago Fire 0 – 0 Houston Dynamo
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Dan Gargan, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; Logan Pause ©, Pavel Pardo; Patrick Nyarko (Hunter Jumper, 87’), Chris Rolfe, Marco Pappa (Orr Barouch, 72’); Dominic Oduro (Alex, 58’)
Substitutes not used: Jay Nolly, Arne Friedrich, Daniel Paladini, Corben Bone
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe; Adam Moffat, Luiz Camargo (Brian Ownby, 69’), Brad Davis; Boniek Garcia, Will Bruin (Brian Ching, 65’), Macoumba Kandji (Colin Clark, 81’)
Substitutes not used: Tyler Deric, Warren Creavalle, Brian Ownby, Nathan Sturgis, Cam Weaver
HOU – Corey Ashe (caution) 38’
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistants: Chris Strickland, James Conlee
Fourth Official: Leszek Stalmach
Fourth Official: Leszek Stalmach