By DAN KARELL
For the second time in seven days, Federico Higuain nearly won the game on his own for the Columbus Crew.
Converting a penalty kick last Sunday against the Red Bulls to take a 2-1 lead at the time, on Saturday, Higuain scored another spot kick and had a curling shot hit the post and carom away, as the Crew to settled for a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night in front of 11,040 fans at Crew Stadium.
Two of Major League Soccer’s bright young talents combined in the opening goal for the Dynamo. On the counter-attack in the 31st minute, 22-year-old Kofi Sarkodie stormed down the right wing, centering the ball to 22-year-old Warren Creavalle, who sent in a one time finish past Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
Gruenebaum’s opposite number Tally Hall, on the U.S. Men’s National Team squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, proved his worth, stopping a long range effort from Higuain and close range effort from forward Jairo Arrieta, keeping his side in front. Will Bruin nearly gave the Dynamo a second, but Gruenebaum was up to the task, making three close saves before the ball was knocked out for a corner.
The Crew finally equalized after the Dynamo’s Andrew Driver took down Justin Meram inside the area, giving Higuain a chance to score from the spot in the 69th minute. The Argentine blasted the ball into the roof of the net, and then in the 74th minute he nearly ended the match with a far post curler that just ricocheted off the post.
A final cross over the head of Arrieta notwithstanding, both teams finished the game with the scoreline level, putting the Dynamo into third place and keeping the Crew outside of a playoff spot in sixth place.
Here are the match highlights: