If it's November and Houston are still alive, watch out. It's a saying that has held true in MLS for years and on Halloween Houston made sure they made it to November as they beat down on Montreal 3-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
It was the Eastern Conference knockout round and as a result Houston Dynamo have won the auspicious honor of taking on the Supporters Shield winners, New York Red Bulls in the conference semi-final with the first leg back at BBVA Compass Stadium on Sunday.
Houston Dynamo had been criticized coming in to the match for a lack of possession, control and finishing but once again the Dynamo that finished the season looked nothing like the polished unit that took the field in the playoffs.
After a tight opening Houston Dynamo started to assert themselves and in the 16th minute they had the lead after Will Bruin found Ricardo Clark who was able to confuse the Impact defense with a neat back-heel that allowed Bruin to run through and end his scoreless streak at the best possible time.
Houston continued to dominate proceedings and in the 27th minute they made it two as Boniek Garcia stole possession away from Hassoun Camara before running in to the box and being taken out by Hernan Benardello, who was lucky to escape further punishment.
That luck ran out immediately though as Garcia was able to dust himself off and step up for the penalty which was well taken to double Houston's advantage.
Montreal only had one method of attack and that was to hoof the ball long which was making life easy for the Houston defense who easily held on for a 2-0 lead at the break.
The second half was more of the same for Houston although Marco Di Vaio did have the first dangerous shot of the half on the hour mark but Tally Hall was able to make the save.
The match exploded in the 70th minute when Nelson Rivas, who was lucky to escape a straight red earlier in the match connected with his second elbow of the night to earn his second yellow and surely hand the match to Houston.
Just two minutes later that was all but sealed as Corey Ashe sent a ball over the Montreal defense for Bruin to run on to and seal his brace for his sixth playoff goal of his career.
Late in the game it all went horribly wrong for Montreal as Andres Romero kicked Kofi Sarkodie earning himself a red card and sparking a melee that saw another red card for Montreal with Di Vaio sent off for making contact with Corey Ashe's face.
That forced Montreal to play the final stages of stoppage time with eight men, just two players above a forfeit but they kept it down to 3-0 but their season was done as Houston advanced to the conference semi-finals.