MLS Game Summary - Columbus at Houston

(Saturday, March 21, 2009)

From The Sports Network

Final Score: Columbus 1, Houston 1

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - The Columbus Crew, the 2008 Major League Soccer champions, opened the 2009 season on Saturday night at the Houston Dynamo, the 2006 and 2007 league champions, so it was fitting that the match ended in a 1-1 draw with two former championship game MVPs scoring the game's only goals.

Houston forward Brian Ching, the 2006 MLS Cup MVP, opened the scoring for the home side in the 53rd minute when he took a pass from fellow forward Chris Wondolowski, who played a through-ball to him after a Dynamo buildup in the offensive third. Ching ran onto the ball, and on his first touch toe-poked a shot past Columbus goalkeeper Will Hesmer for the 1-0 lead.

But with less than 10 minutes to play in the game, 2008 league and MLS Cup MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto earned his first goal of the season to help the Crew earn a draw against a very tough team on the road.

The play was made possible by the assist from Jason Garey, who had come on just two minutes prior. The substitute headed a long cross down to Schelotto in the Dynamo penalty area, and the Argentine veteran snapped a shot into the left-post side-netting for the equalizer.

Columbus central defender Chad Marshall had the best chance for either team in the first half when he blasted a header past Onstad, but it was called back because referee Tim Weyland ruled that a foul was committed on the play.

Houston winger Brad Davis just missed giving his side a 2-0 advantage in the 79th minute when he tried a long-range chip, catching Hesmer off his line, but the Columbus 'keeper was able to knock the chance over the bar.

The Crew (0-0-1) were able to equalize just two minutes later, forcing Houston (0-0-1) to share the points at home.

03/21 22:26:17 ET