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Ngwenya helps Dynamo tie Rapids

Jun 27, 2010 - 4:15 AM HOUSTON(AP) -- Joseph Ngwenya scored his first goal of the year to give the Houston Dynamo a 2-2 tie with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.

Ngwenya tied it at 2 in the 80th minute, taking a centering pass from Brian Mullan in the middle of the box and scoring into the right side from 12 yards out.

Houston (5-7-2) ended a three-game losing streak in its return from a three-week World Cup break. Colorado (6-3-3) extended its season-high unbeaten streak to five.

"The guys are pleased to get the point. It's tough to come here with the conditions," said Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens, who had three saves.

"We know that. That's not an excuse or anything, but it is very tough to come down here and play. After being off for two weeks, the humidity and this heat, grinding it out and getting a point, I think it's justifiable for us. It keeps our streak alive."

Houston, 4-0-2 overall against Colorado in Houston, hadn't won since May 22 when it beat D.C. United 2-0.

"The way things are going, it's good that we showed some fight and walked away with a point," Houston midfielder Corey Ashe said. "It's a good point and we battled back."

Colorado took a 2-1 lead in the 71st minute on a Houston own goal off Jaime Smith's corner kick. Smith's corner deflected in off Lovel Palmer's left hip.

"There are the concerns that you come out of the training environment, which is very different, back into the cut and thrust of the league and you are not quite sure where the players' sharpness and form is because we have had some time off," Colorado coach Gary Smith said. "It took us 45 minutes to really get into our stride.

"I have to be honest, when we scored the second, I thought we might have had enough to push on and win the game."

Danny Cruz gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute with a left-footed shot from 30 yards out. Cruz took a centering pass from Corey Ashe and let Conor Casey go by him before finding the left net with a hard shot.

Casey tied it at 1 in the 45th minute with his third goal in four games and sixth of the season. Houston's Eddie Robinson lost the ball to Mehdi Ballouchy, who got it into the middle box for Casey. Casey drew goalkeeper Pat Onstad out of the box Casey chipped it in from 10 yards out.

"That misplay before halftime, we were well in control of the game and not giving up chances and keeping possession of the ball really turned the game around and it took us a while to recover," Houston coach Dominic Kinnear said.

After 17 days off because of the World Cup break, Colorado was pleased to get the result, but both teams lamented their missed chances.

"It's good to be back," Casey said. "Obviously, it was nice to have some time off. It was nice to get a point in the end coming into the heat. It's never easy to play here. After going up, it's a little disappointing not coming away with three, but I think it's a fair point."