Photo by Nigel Brooks
It was treats for the Houston Dynamo and only tricks for the Chicago Fire in Bridgeview, Illinois on Halloween night as a Will Bruin brace gave the Dynamo a 2-1 win, eliminating Chicago from the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Bruin's first goal came in the 12th minute with a header on a set piece and then he picked up his second goal early in the second half. The fact that the Dynamo led throughout the match put the pressure on Chicago to attack instead of sitting back and waiting on opportunities to counter. With 19 shots, 7 of which were on goal, Chicago did not give the Dynamo defense much rest and a goal by Alex in the 83rd minute gave hope to Chicago and its fans that they had a chance to catch up with the Dynamo. But this hope proved to be false when referee Baldomero Toledo blew the whistle approximately 4 minutes after regulation time.
The Dynamo victory means that the Chicago Fire are done with the 2012 MLS Season. The Dynamo advance to a two-leg affair against Sporting Kansas City. The first match will be at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Sunday November 4th at 2:30 p.m. central time. The second match will be hosted at Livestrong Park in Kansas City, Kansas on Wednesday November 7th at 8:00 p.m. central time. Sunday's match will be broadcast on NBC.
As Wednesday night's victory by the Dynamo suggests, when it comes to the MLS Cup Playoffs you can't look to the Dynamo's regular season results to predict how they'll fair in the playoffs. Prior to this victory, the last time the Dynamo beat the Chicago Fire was in 2010. The fact that the Dynamo did not have the best record against Kansas City this past season means nothing going into the Eastern Conference Semifinals.