March 12, 2010 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Chicago Fire
HOUSTON, Texas (March 11, 2010) - A Marco Pappa goal in the 71st minute gave the Chicago Fire a crucial second half goal as they tied the Houston Dynamo 1-1 at Sorrels Soccer Field at Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas. The Fire finish its four-stop, six-week tour, 3-1-2, with one final preseason match to play before the club kicks off its 13th season in MLS.
The Fire wrapped its extensive preseason away from Chicago with a hard fought, physical outing against the Dynamo. Fire goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra did well in the first half to prevent the Dynamo from scoring. In the 39th minute, the 24-year old came off his touch line to snuff out Dynamo forward Dominic Oduro's shot, before hustling back into position to save the ensuing rebound attempt by Oduro's strike-mate, Cam Weaver.
The Dynamo broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute, when Dynamo forward Luis Angel Landin served an outside of the foot cross from the left hand side to Weaver who headed the ball past Dykstra to the far post to give the Dynamo a 1-0 advantage.
Just eight minutes later, the Fire pulled back to tie the game at 1-1. In the 71st minute, Fire defender Wilman Conde stole the ball at midfield and pushed forward into the attacking third. Conde played the ball to an open Pappa, who fired a driven right-footed shot from the edge of the Dynamo penalty area into the back of the net.
In the 74th minute, Fire forward Patrick Nyarko made a darting run into the Houston penalty area before being pulled down by Dynamo defender Eddie Robinson. With the penalty awarded, Pappa stepped to the spot and struck a right-footed shot directed towards the left post of Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad. Onstad was quick off his line and dove to his right to keep the score level at one goal apiece.
The Fire take on the Notre Dame Fight Irish at the TOYOTA PARK practice field on Saturday, March 20 at 10:00 AM CT, in their final preseason tune-up before the MLS regular season gets underway March 27 against the New York Red Bulls.