The Chicago Fire overcame a two-goal deficit, only to see the Houston Dynamo's Stuart Holden tally the game-winner in the 83rd minute en route to a 3-2 Dynamo victory Sunday in Major League Soccer action at Robertson Stadium in Houston. Holden's go-ahead penalty kick was the result of a Brandon Prideaux foul in the box to Houston's Corey Ashe.
The Fire suffered only their second road loss this season, falling to 8-4-9 overall and remaining four points behind the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew. The Western Conference-leading Dynamo improved to 11-6-5.
Chicago's defense already was hampered before the game without the availability of center back Wilman Conde (hamstring) and right back Tim Ward (fractured left foot). But in the 5th minute, the Fire suffered another setback when Gonzalo Segares had to leave the game early because of an injury. Daniel Woolard came in to replace him, but in the 55th minute, he too was hurt when Houston's Brian Ching fouled him, enticing a yellow card. The Fire had to use their third and final sub with Dasan Robinson coming in.
The Fire defense also saw their shutout streak come to a close at 395 minutes when Houston's Kei Kamara scored off of a quick throw-in in the 21st minute to take a 1-0 lead, with Kamara blasting a shot at a difficult angle. The Dynamo's Ricardo Clark added a goal in the 38th for a 2-0 advantage.
But following halftime, Chicago quickly worked its way back in the game, with two goals in 2 minutes. Chris Rolfe scored a deep goal that rolled past Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad's left to cut Houston's lead to 2-1 in the 46th minute. Then in the 48th, Peter Lowry netted a right-footed volley off of a Cuauhtemoc Blanco (pictured) cross from the left side.
The Fire held a 12-10 shots advantage, while Houston had a 6-4 edge in shots on goal.
Next up: The Fire stay on the road to take on the Kansas City Wizards for a 2 p.m. match on Sunday, Aug. 16.
Notes: Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Mexico) and Gonzalo Segares (Costa Rica) immediately were set to join their national teams for World Cup qualifying this week. Mexico hosts the U.S. on Wednesday, and Costa Rica takes on Honduras that day, as well. ... The Chicago Fire Premier Development League squad fell to the Ventura County Fusion, 2-1, on Saturday in the National PDL Championship. It was their second runner-up finish, the last coming in 2003.