Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of Western Conference rivals will lock horns on Friday when FC Dallas travels to BBVA Compass Stadium to face the Houston Dynamo in the season's first edition of the Texas Derby.
Houston enters the match looking to extend its unbeaten streak to four matches, but will also hope to be more effective when in position to close out games after earning a point in a wild 4-4 draw with Sporting Kansas City last time out.
Sporting struck first just two minutes into the contest when Krisztian Nemeth colleted a loose ball in midfield and set sail toward goal. He drove to the edge of the box and fired a low strike into the bottom right corner, stunning the home crowd.
But Houston found an equalizer in the 11th minute when Giles Barnes got on the end of loose ball into the penalty area and smacked it home on the half- volley.
The hosts then grabbed the lead in first-half stoppage time as Will Bruin got on the end of a corner kick from U.S. international Brad Davis and sent a quick flicked header past Sporting goalkeeper Luis Marin for the halftime lead.
Owen Coyle's side picked up right where they left off when the whistle blew to start the second half and it was 3-1 just seconds into the period when Barnes finished an excellent offensive move with a low laser beam into the bottom right corner, leaving Marin with no chance for a save.
Sporting Kansas made it 3-2 with 15 minutes to play as Dominic Dwyer did well to cut out a poor back pass by Barnes and slide it past Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric.
Benny Feilhaber stepped up to the penalty spot with 10 minutes to play and converted with ease to pull the sides level.
But Houston went right back in front in the 82nd minute as Davis swung in an excellent free kick and Rodriguez got on the end of it to nod it past Martin for the 4-3 lead.
The fourth official's board showed six minutes of added time, which was more than enough time for Peter Vermes' side to carve out a late equalizer as Feilhaber got on the end of pass from Graham Zusi, rescuing a point for SKC in dramatic fashion.
"We had the game won -- you make a mistake and it puts a lot of pressure on you," Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle said. "At the end I think we can learn to manage the game better. It's a point, but it feels like a defeat. We were the better team tonight, no doubt about it."
FC Dallas, meanwhile, will be aiming to take all three points after conceding a late goal to draw the Colorado Rapids, 1-1, last Friday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
FCD opened the scoring in the 31st minute when a cross from Fabian Castillo skipped through several players in the box before arriving at the feet of Mauro Diaz, who fired it home with ease.
But Colorado found its equalizer with 11 minutes to play when a long ball from Lucas Pittinari was sent through to Dillon Powers, who headed it to Nick LaBrocca to finish the play.