Will Bruin's goal with less then two minutes remaining in stoppage time lifted the Houston Dynamo over DC United 1-0 on Sunday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. It was a classic finish for a Houston team that has become known for late game heroics over the past eight seasons and may well prove to be the goal that changes the course of a season.The win snapped an eight game winless streak for the Dynamo (6-11-4, 22 points); moving Houston to within five points of the Columbus Crew for the fifth and final Estern Conference playoff berth. DC United (11-6-4, 37 points) remains in second place in the Eastern Conference two points back of Sporting KC.
"We deserved to win tonight," said head coach Dominic Kinnear to the assembled media following the match. "We put a good amount of pressure on them. It was a clean three points."
Houston entered the match with the same intensity and energy that has been seen in practice since The team signed DaMarcus Beasley and Luis Garrido on July 23rd and 25th respectively. With the exception of six minutes to open the second half, Houston dominated and thrived in DC United's defensive third of the field creating 20 scoring opportunites throughout the match.
In the seventh minute, Bruin missed the first opportunity with a header then it was Boniek-Garcia three minutes later that couldn't finish a left footed shoot followed by a Ricardo Clark service across the goal mouth four minutes later. The trend continued one after another until it seemed that 90 plus minutes of play would not be enough for the Dynamo's most dominant performance of the season to end the team's eight game winless streak. For 90 plus minutes of play, it appeared that Houston's scoring woes (-16 goal differential) would continue to be its achilles heel to a nearly lost season. For 90 plus minutes plus of play, it appeared that Houston's maligned defense's best effort in more then two months would be for naught but then Will Bruin and Omar Cummings rode to the rescue.
Cummings entered the match in the 88th minute and the Jamaican international needed less then four minutes to make his presence felt.
As the clock wound down, DCU defender Taylor Kemp headed a ball back towards his goal. Bruin burst into box chasing after the ball forcing rookie defender Steve Birnbaum to get turned around and bump into keeper Bill Hamid who had come off his line to play the ball. The ball rolled harmlessly towards the endline where Cummings pounced on it and slipped it under a sliding Hamid back to a waiting Bruin who tapped it home.
"Sometimes pressure leads to mistakes," added Kinnear describing the effort that led to the game winner. "Sometimes it comes down late but lots of times it comes down to secondary effort, I think we got that from the two guys that combined for the goal."
The goal was the fourth year veteran's ninth against DCU in nine career games including a hat trick on April 29, 2011. Houston has yet to lose a game in 2014 when Bruin nets at least one score.
I would have retired, if I had missed that goal," said Bruin tongue in cheek. "We've been saying it's time to go and get three points and it was much a Dynamo win as it was a grind'em down control the game then get the goal. We aren't going to look. We're going to look to get three points each week and the rankings will take care of itself."
The win allows Houston to travel to Western Conference leading Seattle (12-6-3 38 points) next Sunday evening with some momentum on it's side and makes a winning debut for defender DaMarcus Beasley and Luis Garrido. The nationally televised match against the Sounders is set to kick-off at 9:30p.m. CDT.