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Fire come away from Houston with point, draw

The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- The Chicago Fire picked up another point and Mike Magee scored another goal in a 1-1 draw on Saturday night with the Houston Dynamo.

Cam Weaver scored Houston's goal in the 61st minute and Magee countered for the Fire with his13th of the season in the MLS game.

The Fire tied the score two minutes after Weaver's goal when Patrick Nyarko sent a pass from the right box to a wide-open Magee, who knocked a shot inside the near post from inside the 6-yard box.

"It's always important to get the equalizer, but it's good to get it quick because once they get one, they start pounding on you," Magee said. "That had the potential to be a long end of the game, so to get the goal that quick was massive."

Weaver put the Dynamo ahead 1-0 when he took a Brad Davis cross from the left box and tapped it in from inside the 6-yard box for his first goal of the season and his first since May 28, 2011.

The Dynamo were a bit frustrated with the result.

"Disappointed with only getting one point," Weaver said. "I think with the amount of chances we had, we definitely should be getting three points. That's the way I feel right now."

After the two quick goals, second-half sub Warren Creavalle nearly gave Houston the lead back, sticking a leg out on a cross by Jermaine Taylor, causing Chicago goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi to jump for the save.

Chris Rolfe had an opportunity to give Chicago the lead in the 76th minute, but diving Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall saved the attempt from the right box.

A minute later, Houston had a four-on-two that Tornaghi snuffed out with a sliding stop of Giles Barnes' attack.

Jason Johnson was given a through pass by Barnes in the 83rd minute, but his shot from 8 yards was stopped by Tornaghi.

Tornaghi finished with three saves, and Hall had five for Houston.

Tornaghi said the Fire were happy to go home with a point.

"We knew this team was very strong on set pieces and also try to win the first, second and third ball," Tornaghi said. "I think to challenge and fight was what we were trying to do, and we did it well."

Chicago (7-9-4, 25 points) is unbeaten in eight of its last 10 games, and the tie snapped Houston's winning streak at two games but extended its unbeaten streak to three games.

"We talked about our ability in this stretch to be able to get points on the road," Chicago coach Frank Klopas said. "You're playing against a very good team in a difficult place. It is not easy here. I felt in the second half both teams had some quality looks and the goalkeepers came up big. For us, on the road, we showed a lot of character."

Houston coach Dominic Kinnear said every game is important for the Dynamo, who are tied with New England for fifth in the Eastern Conference.

"I don't have to say 'well, this is a big game because of this, because of that,'" Kinnear said. "All these underlying themes and goals; the main goal will always be to win the game. I know what New England did tonight, I know what the other teams did, I know where we're at we have game in hand, etc.

"You want to win three points no matter if it's home, if it's Columbus, or New England or even tonight against Chicago. The aim is always to get three (points). We want to be higher than where we are in the conference and we know it's going to take wins to do that."

Houston (8-6-6, 30 points) appeared to take a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute, but Bobby Boswell's header from 14 yards that went just inside the near post was waved off after Boswell was called offsides.

Nyarko was active for Chicago in the first half, with a bullet from the right box going wide in the first 20 seconds and then having a shot in the 11th minute from outside the right box saved by Hall. Off the ensuing corner kick, Austin Berry had a dribbler from just outside the goalkeeper's box that was saved by Hall.

Nyarko remained on the attackwith a shot from left of the half circle that was saved by Hall in the 25th minute and another shot from the upper right box that Hall stopped in the 33rd minute.

Houston lost midfielder Andrew Driver in the 15th minute with a right Achilles' injury. He was replaced by Davis.

Chicago lost midfielder Alex in the 41st minute because of a right ankle injury. Dan Paladini replaced Alex.

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