Houston Dynamo got a vital win in their 2013 Champions League campaign as they managed a 2-1 win over Arabe Unido at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday night.
The result was hard fought and come from behind but puts the Dynamo on top of Group 1 and in the drivers seat as the group stage hits the half-way point.
Houston were stunned and infuriated early on as Arabe Unido were able to secure a controversial penalty as Mike Chabala was deemed to have fouled Abdiel Arroyo in the box.
Despite the protests Chabala did tug on Arroyo's jersey but he certainly made a meal of the contact to make sure that he won the penalty which he duly dispatched to stun the Houston crowd.
Houston controlled the bulk of possession after that goal with Arabe Unido content to sit back and let the Dynamo attack but time and time again they were frustrated by a lack of finishing.
In the 22nd minute Houston drew level as Corey Ashe was able to find space and cross to the far post where he found Cam Weaver on the run allowing him to volley home the equalizer.
That forced Arabe Unido to come out and look for a goal and with it the physicality increased as they worked hard to fight for the ball.
Such was the physicality that neither side was really able to generate any clear chances for the rest of the half as the challenges and fouls flew in the half ended level at one.
Houston Dynamo pushed for a goal in the opening stages of the second half, with Arabe Unido still looking to use physicality to keep Dynamo out but struggling to stop a relentless attack.
Arabe Unido wanted to attack but the physicality of the match really stopped either team gaining any real momentum that was necessary to find any kind of goals.
That allowed Houston to calmly play out the remainder of the match as they recorded a vital 2-1 win and took the lead in the group.