Heartbreak for New York. Houston are now just two games away from a third straight MLS Cup final. Two late Cummings close-range goals are decisive.
Find out who Dynamo will face with Paolo Bandini's liveblog of SKC vs New England.
Thanks for reading, caring, sharing, tweeting, emailing, sorry I couldn't use them all. And remember we have live minute-by-minute coverage of every MLS playoff game. One still going on in KC. Two more tomorrow!
Houston advance to the Eastern Conference final
New York heads are down, disappointment etched over their faces. The thrill of the club's first silverware overwhelmed by playoff disappointment. Houston are delighted. They will face the winners of SKC vs New England. You can follow that game here. Now!
FINAL: New York Red Bulls 1-2 Houston Dynamo
New York are eliminated! Houston go through.
Houson have 2-on-1 on a break, but Weaver shoots straight at Robles. Still NYRB 1-2 Houston.
What a waste by Henry. The ball is sent back to the NY half of the field. Briefly. Another long ball. Again Tally Hall claims it.
...and it goes horribly high and wide.
Holgersson launches the ball forward and Boswell is adjudged to have fouled Henry. Free kick 20 yards out, just to the left of the D. Henry lining it up...
Another NY cross but McCarty heads wide. Time running out for the Supporters' Shield winners.
Driver breaks down the right for Houston. Eventually NYRB get the ball back. The injured Cahill plays the ball wide for Henry. Steele collects the ball wide but his cross is cleared. Again Houston survive. Cummings breaks but shoots over.
New York's long balls are having little effect, playing to Houston's defensive strengths.
Hall claims another cross that has been pumped into the Houston box. And now Cahill is limping.
Houston break but don't have enough players forward to use it. Espindola and Alexander combine on the NYRB break but it too breaks down. Alexander then passes bedhind Cahill and again Houston clear.
Houston keeping the ball well and NY look frustrated. And tired. A long ball is launched into the Houston area. It hits Boswell's hand and there's a loud penalty shout. But instead Henry is ruled to have pushed the Dynamo defender. More boos. NYRB 1-2 Houston.
Alexander floats the ball into the Houston area but Hall punches clear. Garcia breaks briefly but he's all along as the Dynamo are now sitting deep. Very deeeep.
Cahill is now playing up front for NYRB. He jostles with Ashe and the Houston player win the free-kick. To a very loud chorus of anxious New York boos.
Carney launches a long free-kick, Cahill puts the ball back into the six-yard box and finds Luyindula but his shot is over the bar.
15 minutes to go and NYRB signal their intentions by withdrawing defender Barklage for the extra forward, Luyindula.
We have one added minute for this first period of extra-time. New York have the ball but don't use it in time. That's the end of the first period of ET. Do or die for NYRB now...
GOAL! Cummings! NYRB 1-2 Houston
And Houston have snatched the lead. The ball bobbles in the New York area and Cummings stretches and pokes the ball goalward. It looks like Robles can reach it, but the ball has just , barely, crossed the line first.
Carney sees Hall off his line but his ambitious (read, incredibly optimistic) attempt at a long-distance lob is straight into the hands of the Houston keeper
Carney finds Henry on the edge of the Houston penalty area but his layoff bounces up into Steele's hands. Danger over for Dynamo. Still 1-1.
Now it's Houston's turn to keep the ball. Eventually the ball reaches Cummings who has time to shoot. But it's well, well wide. And high. Still 1-1.
Sekagya, still on the field, indeed, looking fitter than he did, clears for a Houston throw. And now NYRB work the ball upfield. But again with no final delivery.
Houston sub: Weaver on for Barnes. A target man for Houston's long balls.
Still NYRB pressing and Houston putting everything in the way.
Jim Neal emails:
Both games - split screen - magnificent calls - Finding myself involved to an extent rarely exceeded watching television. I don't feel like I am missing a thing. First time to try "watching" two game blogs at the same time - thank you gentlemen for a wonderful experience. Jim In Tennessee, late of Houston.
Cahill controls the ball inside the Houston area. His pass to McCarty, charging in, is deflected away by a last-ditch sliding challenge. A follow-up shot is straight at Hall. Still 1-1.
NYRB laying siege but everybody is back for Houston and it's a Dynamo goal-kick. Have they all been practising their penalties?
Carney's free-kick is punched clear by Hall. The ball bobbles and NY appeal for a penalty for a stray hand, but are waved away.
NYRB attacking again and Espindola is brought down by Ashe (who gets a yellow card for his troubles). NY free kick about 28 yards out on the right.
NYRB kick off and move forward but Henry is caught offside. Still 1-1. 3-3 on aggregate. But there's a goal in KC. (Follow that one here).
Extra-time coming up...
NYRB had a flurry of late chances but now comes 30 minutes (no golden goal). Peeeep!
Cummings breaks for Houston but he's on his own, against three defenders, and the ball is cleared. And we have extra-time in New Jersey...
The ball bounces out and Carney shoots wide. We have two minutes of injury time but that Henry shot may have been the moment. Still 1-1.
Henry goes for the bicycle kick but it deflects wide. For a corner...
Henry breaks into the Houston box but his pass is disappointing. The ball isn't cleared far though and comes back into the Dynamo danger zone and is only cleared frantically. Now NYRB have a free kick 30 yards out. Carney to take...
But Espindola crosses straight to the defenders. And now Houston break. But eventually Davis floats the ball into Robles' hands. 1-1.
Houston have the ball but taking their time. Finally Driver has a shot from the right but it's blocked, and now NYRB break...
Alexander floats in yet another New York cross but again it's straight into Hall's hands. Still 1-1 (3-3 on aggregate)
A little scrappy again. Houston throwing long balls forward to no real purpose. NYRB trying to make passing patterns forward but making little headway. Cahill has dropped very deep again.
Houston have a small period controlling the ball near the NYRB area, but Driver miscontrols and then shoots wide.
Alexander, who has looked sharp since coming on, turns and finds space 25 yards out in front of goal, but his shot is easily claimed by Hall falling to his right. Still 1-1 tonight, 3-3- on aggregate.
Henry finds Alexander storming into the Houston area, but his flick back is blocked and cleared. Still 1-1. Away goals don't count. Extra time looming in 10 minutes unless someone can score...
New York look like a team who want to win here. Houston look like a team who would settle for taking their chance in a penalty shoot-out. Still 1-1.
Espindola gets to the byline but when he cuts it back, Hall smothers. NYRB having the better of things here but failing to capitalize.
Save! 76 mins
New York pressing. Dynamo getting a little last-ditched in their defense. Another NY corne. But again it's headed clear. And then the ball is back in the Dynamo penalty area, it bobbles off several heads and Tally Hall makes another spectacular reaction save. I think the final touch before him was from Barnes. that would have been an own goal. Still 1-1.
Substitution: Alexander on for Sam for NYRB. Still 1-1.
Ashe finds space on the left wing and crosses from the byline but it misses everybody. And then NYRB break to the other end. Henry is in the area, he controls, spins, turns and shoots....just wide.
A long ball towards Cahill in the Houston area is well claimed by Tally Hall. And now Houston break...
Steele breaks on the left for NY, his cross is cleared but only as far as Henry. But the Frenchman spends too long contemplating which corner of the goal he wants to curl the ball into and he's dispossessed. (And left looking a little foolish). Still 1-1.
After a period of New York domination, Houston finally get the ball under some control.
Substitution: Houston send on Driver for Creavalle.
Henry volleys straight into a defender and it's yet another NRYB corner. This time it's McCarty who heads straight at Tally Hall.
Cahill has been pushed further forward for New York and it's having an effect as he's harrying the Dynamo defense. And here's another NYRB corner. Taken by Henry. The first cross is cleared but the second finds Cahill who heads straight at Hall. That was a good chance. Still 1-1.
Henry hits the bar! The cross comes in and Henry loops it over Tally Hall, but it bounces off the crossbar and the rebound bounces out.
Nice skill by Sam on the right wins some space and time for NYRB but Espindola ducks out of a challenge and Houston have the ball.
Houston will counter with an offensive substitution of their own: the speedy Cummings coming on for Bruin.
Steele flicks the ball ahead for Cahill sprinting into the Houston area. But Steele is called offside. Substitution: Espindola on for BWP for NYRB.
Another free kick wide on the left for NYRB. Another chance for Henry to get this in the right place - although, frankly, why isn't he in the middle waiting for it? Especially when, yet again, he only succeeds in finding an orange head.
Some scrappy, slightly nervy play going on here. No substitutions yet. Plenty of fouls.
Another challenge in the same area - wide on the left - results in an NY free-kick, but Henry floats it too far and into the hands of Tally Hall in the Houston goal. Still 1-1.
Henry is trying to pull the strings for New York, dropping deep to pick up the ball and run. He runs and falls under a challenge. No free-kick and a trademark, sitting, Gallic gesture of the arms from Henry.
Steele flicks the ball over the Houston defense and finds BWP, but, despite a nice piece of control, he can't find the space again and Dynamo clear.
They've kicked off in Kansas City. You can follow Sporting vs Revs here.
Henry passes the ball beautifully to Sam, running into the penalty area, with space on the right hand side. His first touch is poor and he slides to recover but only succeeds in scooping the ball over the goal. Still 1-1.
So, New York have held all the advantages in this two-legged playoff but with 37 minutes of the tie remaining are still level.
A long ball over the top for Barnes to chase is too long and reaches Robles. Seconds later another Houston attack is broken up by a sliding tackle by Carney.
Now it's New York who are making the passing plays, moving down their right flank. McCarty gets a cross in but it's cleared eventually by Garcia. 1-1
Giles Barnes is down again, turning his ankle under a challenge (but not actually touched by the tackle). Still 1-1.
Nice interplay along the right flank by Houston culminates in a cross from Giles Barnes but it's cleared - somewhat erratically by...Sekagya
Sekagya is back out for the second half. NYRB kick off...
NYRB leading the shot count 8-3 and the shots on target tally 4-1. But the score is 1-1. BWP took his goal well (and then performed a lovely little jig), but Sekagya's injury was disastrous for New York, as he clearly wasn't moving freely when he passes weakly to Davis. Good fortune for Houston. And particularly for keeper Hall who won't want to look at replays of that NY goal.
The next time you here from me it will be the whistle for the second half...
Pre-half time thoughts from Graham
Graham Parker writes:
Was just typing before that goal that New York were up but their play and the mood in the stadium seemed very brittle. Henry was urging calm after the Red Bulls scored, but at the moment it looks like nobody wants the ball. Despite the increase in the overall character of the Red Bulls this year, they've yet to demonstrate the nous to manage a two-game series. Houston looked, if not comfortable soaking up pressure, at least familiar with the scenario — and weren't in any panic.
But even they couldn't have anticipated getting such a gift of a goal...
Our man in the press box
Sporting KC vs New England Revolution is close to kick off. Paolo is liveblogging that game here.
Dynamo break but a great tackle by Holgersson stops Bruin on the edge of the box. And the whistle goes. Half-time...
One minute to be added on. McCarty is fouled by Garcia in the center circle and the free kick is easily cleared.
New York break fast and BWP gets the ball into the area, where Henry flicks and shoots goalward, Cahill tries to deflect it and Hall makes a great, close, reaction save to push the ball over the bar. Great save.
It's Houston pushing now. And finding space. Sarkodie shoots from 20 yards but it floats wide. Still 1-1.
That goal has rattled New York, who had been looking cool, calm and almost dominating around their goal. But now Houston are finding space, NY are looking hurried and hassled, and now Henry is dropping deep to give away free-kicks in dangerous areas.
Houston win a free kick 30 yards out on the left but Davis again only finds a New York head.
Steele shoots from about 15 yards for New York but it's straight at Hall.
That was a disaster all round for New York. Sekagya probably shouldn't be on the field at this point. It was a terrible, terrible pass that exposed the rest of the defense. Straight to a player as dangerous as Davis, who very calmly slotted it home. 1-1
GOAL! Brad Davis! NYRB 1-1 Houston
And NYRB really pay for Sekagya staying on the field. He passes weakly from defense straight to Brad Davis, all alone in front of the goal, and he passes the ball into the left corner as Robles goes to the right. 1-1.
Sekagya trying to run it off. Is it a strain? You know how painful doing the splits can be if you're not actually built for it. To lose another defender would be disastrous for NYRB. If he has to go ...
This has been a good spell for New York. And maybe they'll be a little disappointed not to have already sealed this game up. Houston try to calm the game. And then Bruin breaks down the right and puts in a cross, but Sekagya does the splits to reach it and clear. But the NYRB central defender may have injured himself in the process.
And another NYRB cross reaches Henry in the middle but he heads wide. Surprisingly inaccurate header. NYRB 1-0 Houston
Henry wriggles free on the right hand side now, and his dangerous cross is chested away for a corner. The corner is right into the danger aread and there's an ambitious bicycle kick attempt by someone which doesn't rally connect.
Henry is all over the park, finding space. He's wide left now and his pass reaches Cahill. Some neat interchange but eventually it's away for a corner. Henry takes the corner, but Hall comes to claim this one. NYRB 1-0 Houston
Robles comes and punches away the free-kick, not entirely convincingly. The ball falls and a shot comes in, but it's way, way wide.
Yellow card for NY's Barklage for a defensive challenge that started off fairly enough but then ended with his studs in the air. Davis to take free kick wide on the left...
That was a good, calm finish by BWP, but mostly just a big mess by the Houston keeper.
GOAL! Bradley Wright-Phillips! NYRB 1-0 Houston Dynamo
The ball bobbles in the Houston area as Tally Hall can't clutch the ball and BWP nips in, takes a touch right and then passes the ball home!
Another free-kick to NYRB in a dangerous area - wide on the right this time. Henry to deliver...
Bizarrely the ball hits the corner flag at the NYRB end, flies out and it's a Houston throw-in. But NYRB break with Henry, who doesn't quite have that electrifying pace of old. He's caught and it's another throw-in.
Another chance for New York. The ball is whipped into the area and Henry tries to flick the ball goalward, but it bobbles off a defender and falls into the grateful arms of Tally Hall in the Houston goal. 0-0.
Chance! 19 mins
Carney overlaps on the left and sends a cross to Wright-Phillips, who is unmarked in front of the goal, but he can't control the header and it goes high and over. Still 0-0.
McCarty doing his usual cleaning-up job in the Red Bulls midfield, breaks up a Dynamo break.
Houston break, but it's more like pinball than football, with the ball bobbling around, never really under control. Giles Barnes is down having treatment (play was waved on for Dynamo advantage), but he's up again and looks fine.
The corner doesn't even make it past the first defender. Disappointing.
Cahill sends the ball long towards the Houston area. It's headed clear but only as far as another white shirt. NYRB pass the ball nicely and keep the pressure up and finally win a corner, to be taken by Thierry Henry...
There are a lot of Red Bulls players with yellow cards hanging over their heads tonight (four). That's probably something to worry about later. Ricardo Clark wriggles into the NYRB penalty area but Carney shields the ball out for a corner. Brad Davis sends the curling corner towards the back post but it goes too far. Goal kick.
BWP breaks for the Red Bulls, chasing a lovely pass down the middle, he manages to flick the ball past the keeper but it's rolling too slowly and Ashe chases it down and dribbles away. That was a definite CHANCE! NYRB 0-0 Houston
Plenty of noise at RBA. Cahill is playing much deeper than he has been for most of the season due to NYRB's re-arrangement. He breaks up a Dynamo break, does his own spin, turn and pass, but NY can't utilize the break.
New York's Carney (the right back!) caught offside.
Houston work the corner short but when it finally does get pumped into the box it's easily cleared. Early signs are that NYRB have more control of the ball, but Houston look dangerous on the break.
Another comforting fact for NYRB - last year all six teams that had "home advantage" (ie were seeded higher and played the second game of two-legged playoffs at home) in the playoffs were eliminated. Houston have a corner...
Houston break fast and Garcia sends across a cross, but this too is relatively easily cleared.
New York have a free-kick 40 yards out, which Henry floats into the penalty area but it's safely cleared.
Henry controls, spins and turns (you've seen the move) in the midfield, playing the ball out wide for Sam, who advances towards the Dynamo area but his final delivery is wasteful, neither shot nor cross, and goes safely for a goal-kick.
Dynamo kicking left to right in the first half. Dynamo in their usual tangerine and NYRB in their white shirts and red shorts. Some early messiness as the teams feel each other out. Garcia sends the first ball into the box, but it's easily cleared by NYRB.
And Dynamo take the kick off...
Our man in the press box
Here come the teams...
The teams have just entered the arena. Kick off very shortly...
More omens - and they aren't good for NYRB: the Red Bulls haven't won any of the five games that Olave missed this season. And the Red Bulls have never won a playoff game in this stadium.
Be part of it
What are the omens here? The Red Bulls might've had a stellar regular season, but history is not necessarily with them. New York have won just one home playoff game in the last 12 years (back in 2005). And NYRB fans fear they are cursed. The Dynamo meanwhile have been to the last two MLS Cup finals (although they also lost both).
Some more pre-game reading for you:
More from Red Bull Arena
A personal journey to Red Bull Arena
My mate Dave is at RBA tonight. He started off by trying to persuade me to go to the game (but, sadly, the life of a liveblogger involves less glamour than actually going to the games. Graham?!):
Graham Parker's expert analysis
Graham has some thoughts on the lineups:
No changes for Houston, but Luyi
MLS play-offs roundtable: our writers pick the postseason winners 1 month ago
Bradley Wright-Phillips, David Villa in two-horse race for Most Valuable Player 1 month ago
Colorado Rapids clinch first-round play-off bye with victory over Houston 1 month ago
MLS preview: is NYC FC's Frank Lampard a contender for player of the year? 2 months ago
MLS weekend preview: LA Galaxy and Red Bulls adapt to life without stars 3 months ago
Houston Dynamo • New York Red Bulls