Montreal (13-9-7) at Houston (12-10-8), 8:30 p.m.
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of Eastern Conference rivals clash with playoff position on the line on Friday as the Montreal Impact visit BBVA Compass Stadium to tangle with the Houston Dynamo.
Houston comes into the match in good spirits riding a three-game unbeaten run to move into fourth place in the East with 43 points.
Last time out, Houston fell behind at Gillette Stadium last week against the New England Revolution, but scored late to salvage a point in a 1-1 draw to maintain their place in the top five.
The Revolution took the lead after 64 minutes as the ball was funneled to Saer Sene on the right side of the penalty area, he collected a pass and then smashed home the opener with a sharp-angle drive.
But the Dynamo pulled it back level 12 minutes later when Boniek Garcia collected a scuffed clearance and then slotted a wonderfully weighted ball to Will Bruin near the penalty spot, and he neatly thumped home a drive off the underside of the crossbar.
Bruin's goal was his second in as many games, breaking a streak which saw him go goalless since Aug 17.
"We had to go a little bit in search of [the game-tying goal], because if you want to get something you have to go look for it," said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. "At times during the game we were outnumbered and you're just taking a chance putting another guy in a goal-scoring position. It's a risk- reward move and luckily this time it rewarded us."
Montreal, meanwhile, is coming off a 2-2 draw at Toyota Park last Saturday against the Chicago Fire.
Marco Di Vaio struck first for the Impact in the 25th minute, but a pair of second-half goals from Mike Magee gave the Fire the lead with 17 minutes to play.
The tying goal came in the 87th minute when Impact youngster Maxim Tissot scored his first professional goal when he headed a deflected clearance over Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson and inside the far post.
"I think the first half was very perfect from my team on the defensive part and then we scored the goal which was very important for the first half," said Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum. "The second goal was a present from our part but we didn't give up, and that's important in football and in life to go and come back and try everything. It's very important to have this point."
In five all-time meetings between the sides, the Impact hold a 3-1-1 margin, and have outscored the Dynamo 7-0 in two previous meetings this season.