Houston Dynamo FC earned a point following the 1-1 draw with CF Montréal at Stade Saputo earlier this evening. With the result the Dynamo can clinch a berth in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs if FC Dallas lose against the Colorado Rapids or Los Angeles FC draw or defeat Minnesota United FC later today.
Midfielder Artur opened scoring in the 10th minute after forward Aliyu Ibrahim passed the ball to midfielder Sebastian Kowalczyk, who laid the ball off to the Brazilian. The play was Artur’s first goal for Houston, as well as Kowalczyk’s first assist with the Dynamo.
Montréal scored the equalizer in the final moments of the match after Lassi Lappalainen capitalized on his blocked shot at the edge of the box. His initial effort outside the box was blocked by the Dynamo backline, but the ball fell to the winger with space for a shot on frame.
Goalkeeper Steve Clark made his first save of the evening in the opening minute after Romell Quioto created his own space in the penalty box. The veteran goalkeeper made a quick reaction to his left to keep the ball out of the net for his first of six saves on the night.
Defender Daniel Steres had a key defensive play in the 17th minute, cutting off Quioto from a clear chance on goal to keep Houston in the lead. The defender ended the night with two tackles and one clearance.
After assisting on Artur’s goal earlier in the match, Kowalczyk had a chance to score his first goal for Houston in the 22nd minute. The 25-year-old received the ball from forward Nelson Quinones as he was running into the left side of the penalty box, but before he could shoot, goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois corralled the ball just outside the six-yard box.
Houston had a quick start to the second half after Steres played a long ball up to Ibrahim inside the first minute. The ball would not fall for the 22-year-old on the edge of the penalty box, and his first touch was blocked by a Montreal defender.
Clark was called into action again in the 54th minute, stopping multiple close-range attempts from Sunusi Ibrahim by making himself as large as possible on the ground. Two minutes later, the 37-year-old corralled a shot at the near post on Ariel Lassiter’s shot from the left side of the penalty box.
Houston almost doubled its lead in the 59th minute after Quinones went direct for goal from a set piece on the left edge of the penalty box. The curling attempt forced a diving save from Sirois at the near post.
The Dynamo nearly doubled their lead in the 76th minute after forward Corey Baird won the ball inside the box, the ball fell to Amine Bassi and he laid the ball off to his teammate for a first touch shot. Baird’s effort just missed the bottom corner of the far post.
In the culmination of Fan Appreciation Week, presented by Verizon, Houston next hosts the Colorado Rapids at Shell Energy Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT. The Dynamo and Rapids played to a scoreless draw in Colorado in July.