Recap: Ballouchy's late equalizer the story as Houston, NY draw 2-2
HOUSTON – Mehdi Ballouchy sent Houston’s largest crowd of the season
home upset, heading home a 91st minute equalizer to save a 2-2 road draw
for Red Bull New York at the Dynamo’s Robertson Stadium.
Ballouchy battled for space at the near post and found himself on
the end of a Joel Lindpere corner kick. He snapped a quality header past
Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall to give the two teams, battling for the
Eastern Conference lead, a share of the spoils. New York keep a 2-point
lead on the Dynamo in the Eastern conference standings.
Would-be hometown hero Koke had broken a 1-1 stalemate in the 82nd
minute knocking, in the rebound of a Geoff Cameron header off a corner
kick. Koke – whose goal opened his MLS account – made a lunging effort
to beat two New York defenders to the loose ball and push it past
‘keeper Greg Sutton.
The late activity came on the heels of an open and fast paced first half.
Dane Richards took just 39 seconds to give New York 1-0 lead,
smashing a Luke Rodgers knock-down past a diving Hall. Richards – who
said during the week he would take the chance to quiet the Dynamo crowd
if he got it – was a menace throughout the night for the Red Bulls, and
his goal was both the fastest scored in Red Bull history, and was also
the fastest conceded in Houston history.
New York’s lead didn’t last long as Brad Davis converted a penalty
in the 12th minute. Rookie Will Bruin drew the foul from Rafa Marquez,
whose attempted slide tackle in the box caught the forward’s ankle.
Davis stepped up and calmly hit low shot to Sutton’s left for his first
goal of the season.
The early goals were the highlights of an active first half that
featured plenty of chances. Both teams pushed forward, chasing a second
goal, and only a series of quality defensive clearances from both sides
prevented the breakthrough.
New York avoided a 34th minute disaster as former Dynamo midfielder
Dwayne De Rosario nearly headed in an own goal off a Houston corner, but
Sutton pushed it over the bar.
The late goals saved a second half that was more about physicality
than technical quality. Three yellow cards were handed out – Bobby
Boswell joined Davis and Marquez in the book – and a number of fouls
were called providing ample free kick chances.
Saturday’s draw will send Houston (3-3-5, 14 points) to the west
coast for a Wednesday match with the LA Galaxy. The draw drops the Red
Bulls (4-2-4, 16 points) behind the Philadelphia in the Eastern
standings ahead of a Wednesday home match against defending MLS Cup
Champion Colorado Rapids at Red Bull Arena.
NY -- Dane Richards 2 (Luke Rodgers 2) 1
HOU -- Brad Davis 1 (penalty kick) 12
HOU -- Koke 1 (unassisted) 82
NY -- Mehdi Ballouchy 1 (Joel Lindpere 1) 91+
New York Red Bulls -- Greg Sutton, Jan Gunnar
Solli, Rafael Marquez, Tim Ream, Roy Miller, Dane Richards, Dwayne De
Rosario, Teemu Tainio, Joel Lindpere, Luke Rodgers (Corey Hertzog 89),
Juan Agudelo (Mehdi Ballouchy 79).
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Kassel, Stephen Keel, Carlos Mendes, John Rooney, Bouna Coundoul.
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Hunter Freeman, Bobby
Boswell, Andre Hainault, Corey Ashe, Colin Clark (Je-Vaughn Watson 69),
Geoff Cameron, Lovel Palmer, Brad Davis (Mike Chabala 85), Cam Weaver,
Will Bruin (Koke 74).
Substitutes Not Used: Jason Garey, Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Tyler Deric.
HOU -- Bobby Boswell (caution; Reckless Tackle) 50
NY -- Rafael Marquez (caution; Reckless Tackle) 62
HOU -- Brad Davis (caution; Reckless Foul) 64
Referee: Juan Guzman
Referee's Assistants: -Greg Barkey; Ian Anderson
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-85-degrees