for this game

Second-half surge propels Dynamo

Nov 3, 2007 - 6:23 AM
HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The Houston Dynamo appear to have little problem with coming back from postseason adversity.

Stuart Holden and Brian Ching scored within five minutes of each other in the second half, taking advantage of an outmanned FC Dallas squad and rallying to defeat their intrastate rival, 4-1, in overtime on Friday. The Dynamo won the series by an aggregate score of 4-2.

The Dynamo, the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference for a second consecutive season, was in a similar position in 2006. Houston trailed Chivas USA, 2-1, after one game in the West semifinals before taking the second leg, 2-0, at home on a series-winning, stoppage-time goal from Ching. The Dynamo went on to win their first MLS Cup last season.

"I think that's our trademark, we fight for each other and we never give up," Ching said. "You saw it tonight, you saw it last year in the playoffs and you're going to keep seeing it from us."

The win propels the Dynamo into the conference finals where they will meet the winner of the series between the Kansas City Wizards and Chivas USA.

"I think we want to play against Kansas City so we can play at home," Ching said. "The crowd that we played in front of tonight was unbelievable and it was probably the best atmosphere I've ever played in in the MLS. We'd like to play at home, but then again, it doesn't really matter who we play because we're going to come out and play hard and try to get to the finals."

Perhaps it was appropriate that Ching delivered Houston to its second straight conference final. He scored the series-tying and series-winning goals for the Dynamo after they entered the game down by an aggregate 1-0 score, and trailed 2-0 after forward Carlos Ruiz scored in the 14th minute.

Ching gave the Dynamo a 2-1 lead in the 72nd minute - and tied the aggregate score at 2-2 - when he received an assist from midfielder Dwayne De Rosario and blasted a left-footed kick past reserve goalkeeper Ray Burse, who replaced regular netminder Dario Sala in the 24th minute when he injured his right knee.

That goal pushed the contest into overtime, a session in which Ching looked fresh while most of the FC Dallas squad appeared to be listless. FC Dallas had played with a man down since the 47th minute when midfielder Arturo Alvarez was red-carded for kicking Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis in the groin.

"I told the guys at halftime, we're down two goals and we need to go out there and get after it and hopefully some luck will shine on us," Dynamo coach Dominick Kinnear said. "Fortunately for us, a Dallas player lost his head and made it 11-on-10 and we knew we had to go for it right then."

In the fifth minute of the extra session, Ching converted a right-footed kick on the offensive left side, taking a solid pass from forward Joseph Ngwenya and easily beating Sala for his fifth career playoff goal. Davis added the Dynamo's fourth goal of the match when he blasted a 25-yard shot which Sala couldn't handle.

FC Dallas, which was looking to advance to the second round for the first time since 1999, scored its lone goal when Ruiz took a pass from forward Kenny Cooper and sent a right-footed blast past Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad.

"I'm extremely disappointed for the players," FC Dallas coach Steve Morrow said. "It's a very tough way to go out. Everything seemed to go against us today, right from losing (defender) Clarence Goodson just before the game, losing Dario (Sala) early in the game, getting (Alvarez) sent off and losing (defender) Adrian Serioux as well."








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    Nov 2 11:26 PM


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