Houston, New York trade late goals in draw
Mehdi Ballouchy scored for New York in second-half stoppage time to give the Red Bulls a 2-2 tie with the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.
Ballouchy sent a header off Joel Lindpere's corner kick into the upper center of the net.
''It was a play we have been working on,'' Ballouchy said. ''My job was to make a beeline to the near post and hope the ball comes there. I was fortunate to get a good head on the ball and win it.''
New York tied it just minutes after Koke gave Houston a 2-1 lead.
Koke, who transferred to Houston from Greece on April 15, entered in the 67th minute and scored his first career MLS goal in the 82nd minute. Off Brad Davis' corner kick, Geoff Cameron had his header stopped by goalkeeper Greg Sutton, but Koke knocked in the rebound.
''I am happy to get the goal, but when you don't get a win, it's difficult to enjoy,'' Koke said. ''The Red Bulls didn't seem like an out-of-this-world rival. I don't see why they are put on a pedestal. I thought we were better than them, but unfortunately, we let the win get away.''
New York (4-2-4) opened the scoring 39 seconds into the game on Dane Richards' goal. Richards took a pass sent back out of the box from Luke Rodgers and one-timed it into the left side from 25 yards out.
''We got a ball over the top, and it was given to me,'' Richards said. ''It was a quick play. I thought three points is what we wanted and should have had. To be down 2-1 and get the goal, it was good, but we only got a point.''
Richards' goal was the fastest in New York history and the fastest allowed in Houston history. The fastest goal in MLS history is 11 seconds by Dwayne De Rosario in 2003 for San Jose against Dallas.
''I think we played a decent game,'' New York coach Hans Backe said. ''We didn't panic when we got 2-1 down. That was the best start we could have had. To follow that with the panic was not good. You always want to score that early, but we needed to keep them from scoring for 20 or 25 minutes so we could have controlled the game in a different way.''
The Dynamo (3-3-5) tied it on Brad Davis' penalty kick in the 12th minute. Will Bruin earned the penalty kick when he was tripped up in the box by Rafael Marquez.
''I think we're playing well,'' Houston coach Dominic Kinnear said. ''I'm not trying to make the sun shine but I told the guys, `Be disappointed.' I am because we let up late, but, all in all, I really like what I'm seeing from the team. If we simplify things at times I think we'd be better going forward, but, all in all, the efforts and determination is there, and the ability to play for each other is high right now.''