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Played
October 31, 2012 9:30 PM EDT
Toyota Park — Bridgeview, Illinois
Referee:‬ B. Toledo‎
Attendance:‬ 10923‎
 
83′ Alex
Will Bruin 12′
 
Will Bruin 46′

Chicago Fire 1-2 Houston Dynamo: Bruin double douses the Fire

The Fire couldn't spark a late comeback after Will Bruin struck twice to knock Chicago out of the playoffs.

By Keith Hickey

Arne Friedrich, Chicago Fire; Will Bruin, Houston Dynamo; MLS
David Banks
The Houston Dynamo took their first step on the path back to the MLS Cup final, dispatching the Chicago Fire 2-1 at Toyota Park to set up a conference semifinal appearance with Sporting Kansas City. Will Bruin led the way with a pair of goals, and Alex's late finish was not enough to drag the home side back into the game.

Houston quickly recovered from a poor start to take the lead. It came from -- surprise -- a Brad Davis set piece, the veteran midfielder delivering a swerving corner into the box. Chicago defender Jalil Anibaba slipped in the area, allowing Will Bruin a free look on goal. The 6-foot-2 forward didn't waste the golden opportunity, leaping up and powering the cross home with his head for the early 1-0 lead, the deflected ball sneaking past Sean Johnson at the near post.

Bruin struck again just after the restart. Pressing the Fire defense, Ricardo Clark forced a turnover, which Calen Carr fed into the path of the speeding Bruin. Picking his spot, the second-year forward finished coolly inside the lower far post.

Chicago should have pulled one back in the 71st minute, when Tally Hall mispunched Patrick Nyarko's cross onto the feet of Sherjill MacDonald at the far post, but the Dutchman could only hash his reflexive kick into a Dynamo defender when most of the goal was available to him.

But the Fire wouldn't have to wait too long to inject some life into the proceedings. Substitute Alex took an excellent long ball from Arne Friedrich out of the back and picked out the far corner of Tally Hall's net to give Chicago a lifeline.

The Brazilian midfielder wasn't quite as clinical a few minutes later when presented with a good opportunity to snag an equalizer. A miskick from Corey Ashe allowed Dominic Oduro to jam a pass to Alex at the edge of the area, but given the chance to tee up, he made a mess of the attempt.

The result of the one-off playoff game puts Chicago out, and Houston will next face top seed Sporting Kansas City if it is to return to Major League Soccer's showpiece event for the second year running.

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Chicago Fire

25
Sean Johnson
Goalkeeper
 - 
4
Jalil Anibaba
Defender
75′
 - 
13
Gonzalo Segares
Defender
 - 
4
Austin Berry
Defender
 - 
3
Arne Friedrich
Defender
 - 
20
Á. Fernández
Midfielder
 - 
12
Logan Pause
Midfielder
46′
 - 
-
Pavel Pardo
Midfielder
60′
 - 
15
 - 
14
Patrick Nyarko
Midfielder
 - 
-
Chris Rolfe
Striker
 - 

Houston Dynamo

 - 
1
Tally Hall
Goalkeeper
91′
 - 
4
 - 
8
 - 
26
Corey Ashe
Defender
 - 
32
 - 
11
Brad Davis
Midfielder
67′
 - 
13
Ricardo Clark
Midfielder
 - 
6
Adam Moffat
Midfielder
 - 
27
B. García
Midfielder
 - 
3
Calen Carr
Striker
78′
 - 
12
Will Bruin
Striker
12′ 46′ 78′

Substitutes

70
Paolo Tornaghi
Goalkeeper
 - 
33
Dan Gargan
Defender
 - 
11
 - 
-
W. Thompson
Midfielder
 - 
-
 - 
7
Alex
Midfielder
46′ 83′
 - 
8
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
24
Tyler Deric
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
17
Luiz Camargo
Midfielder
 - 
23
 - 
-
 - 
23
Cam Weaver
Striker
 - 
-

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
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  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
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  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Clint Dempsey Clint Dempsey
Striker
Seattle Sounders
6 1
E. Torres E. Torres
Striker
Chivas USA
5 2
V. Sánchez V. Sánchez
Striker
Colorado
4 3
Federico Higuaín Federico Higuaín
Striker
Columbus Crew
4 2
Kenny Miller Kenny Miller
Striker
Rangers
3 2