While Chicago entered the match with little lingering hope of earning an MLS postseason berth, the home side had plenty to fight for while still desperately maintaining a position within the playoff wildcard zone in the standings.
They set out to show that they meant business when it comes to achieving MLS Cup glory, applying heavy pressure in Chicago's defensive half in the early going. Their efforts paid off in the 33rd minute, when Brad Davis sent a well-placed corner kick into the box. The ball fell to the feet of Colin Clark, who buried the shot to give Houston the lead.
Their offensive victory would make way for a defensive failure just 10 minutes later, as Dominic Oduro chased a through-ball that was placed brilliantly by teammate Baggio Husidic. The forward then used sheer speed to beat the defensive line and put away the equalizer.
With all the opportunities enjoyed by Houston throughout the match, they surely would have hoped for a better result with the regular season finale just a couple of weeks away. This is especially the case because it was at home, against a visiting Chicago side that was taking it easy and resting players for a high-profile U.S. Open Cup match in Seattle on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, the draw still sees Houston in a prime position for postseason glory and a shot at Champions League soccer next season if they can find success in the MLS Cup knockout rounds. As for Chicago, their Champions League hopes aren't entirely dashed, either. If they can pull off a victory at hostile Century-Link Field in their Open Cup match, looming as a wide-open door for a berth into the qualifying rounds, their hopes will remain alive.