Houston, TX, United States (4E Sports) – Ricardo Clark and Omar Cummings scored in the second half as the Houston Dynamo forced a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls in the opener of their home-and-home Eastern Conference semifinal series Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Clark scored in the 51st minute while Cummings forced the deadlock in stoppage time as the Dynamo snapped a three-game losing skid to the Red Bulls this season.
“This is a group of guys that understands what it takes,” Houston coach Wade Barrett said after the win.
The Red Bulls played the last 30 minutes without Jamison Olave, who was given a straight red card by referee Ricardo Salazar because of a scissor tackle on Cummings in the second half.
Just like their previous three meetings, New York dominated Houston from the outset and took a 1-0 lead when Tim Cahill scored in the 22nd minute.
Thierry Henry smartly let a pass move by him as he dialed up a perfect cross to Cahill, who skied above several Dynamo defenders to head in an easy goal.
Cahill was involved again 10 minutes later when he put a Dax McCarty pass into the area and sprung Eric Alexander, who cut past a defender and delivered a left-footed shot into the near post past Tally Hall for a 2-0 lead.
However, the Dynamo refused to go quietly. Five minutes into the second half, left back David Carney cleared a Brad Davis cross directly to Dynamo midfielder Ricardo Clark, who delivered a volley past Luis Robles’ net in the 51st minute.
The Red Bulls staved off several Houston attacks in the remaining 25 minutes but Cummings delivered the tying goal in stoppage time.
New York will host the second game of the series Wednesday without Olave, who drew an automatic one-game suspension for his tackle.