Chad Marshall tapped in a ball in the 94th minute as the visiting Sounders and Houston battled to a dramatic 1-1 Major League Soccer tie.
HOUSTON – After 90-plus minutes, the Seattle Sounders trailed the Houston Dynamo. As had been the case in their previous four matches, the Sounders were having trouble on offense.
Just as it looked as if the Sounders were going to walk out of BBVA Compass Stadium without a point Sunday afternoon, Chad Marshall delivered in stoppage time.
Marshall tapped in a ball in the 94th minute as Seattle and Houston battled to a dramatic 1-1 Major League Soccer draw. It was the fourth goal of the season for the Sounders (1-3-1).
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“We were lucky,” defender Brad Evans said. “It’s one of those wins you got to put in the bag. Now we got to do some work at home and keep climbing the ladder.”
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Seattle leads the all-time series with Houston 5-3-4, though it has yet to win in Houston (0-3-3). But the Sounders ran off the pitch feeling better than the Dynamo (1-2-2), which has lost a lead twice in the final minute at home this season.
“Given the way the game went, we’re happy to take a point,” Marshall said.
In the first half, the Dynamo was the better team. In the first 12 minutes, there was a lot of action around the Sounders’ area. The defense was solid, but the Sounders, who have given up six goals in five matches, struggled to keep possession.
Goalkeeper Stefan Frei kept the Sounders in the match. Houston’s goal came from Giles Barnes in the 35th minute. Barnes, who was left unattended in the area, sent a lovely volley to the back post. The Dynamo came into the match with a league-high 11 goals.
In the second half, Seattle controlled the tempo. And in the closing seconds, Marshall happened to be in the right place at the right time. With assistance from Tyrone Mears and Oalex Anderson, following a long ball, Marshall tapped in the equalizer after a pass went across the face of the goal. There was little Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis could do.
“Brad (Evans) told me to go up. So I just ran up there,” Marshall said. “I was trying to be a handful for the center backs … Oalex did well to battle and send a good cross back in, and luckily it deflected out to me. I saw the near post and just went for it.
“They had a lot of numbers behind the ball. It was tough to break them down, so I’m glad I was able to throw the body around and get one. They really were pushing everyone back and trying to hold on to that goal. So it was nice.”
Substitutes Anderson and Herculez Gomez played key roles in the second half for the Sounders. Anderson subbed for Aaron Kovar in the 63rd minute and Gomez came in for Jordan Morris in the 79th minute.
“They’re both fiery players,” Houston defender DaMarcus Beasley said. “(Gomez) loves to run and do the extra effort. The other guy (Anderson) did well. It looks like they made two good decisions to bring them on the field.”
For most of the afternoon, it seemed the Dynamo was one goal from putting the match out of the Sounders’ reach.
“They were probably unlucky not to get more than one,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “We gave them way too much space in midfield to play. In the second half, we did a much better job of pinning down their space. Our movement was quicker and better. We took the game to them.”