Houston Dynamo managed a vital win on Tuesday as a very late goal allowed Houston Dynamo to win the opening leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie against Santos Laguna 1-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
There was no Dominic Kinnear was not allowed on the bench for this match as he was serving a suspension but he was able to change his line-up, starting Brad Davis on the bench for Warren Crevale.
Santos were not taking anything for granted and went with eight starters with US National Team product, Herculez Gomez looking dangerous for the visitors.
It was a slow start to the match as both teams came in off wins on the weekend; which lead to the teams being restricted to shooting from outside the area in the early stages.
As the half wore on the passing became crisper, the pace increased and both teams created chances in a pulsating end to the half.
Houston were their own worst enemy in the 18th minute as Bobby Boswell got on the end of Boniek Garcia's corner but with his header goal bound Creavalle blocked the shot as he looked to screen the keeper which allowed Santos to clear.
Tally Hall made a mistake in the Houston goal on the next Santos attack as he scuffed his clearance of Jermaine Taylor's back pass which allowed Darwin Quintero to get through on goal but his effort was sent over the bar.
Half-time came with the sides scoreless and after the break each team made a substitution with Brad Davis coming on for Houston in place of Creavalle and Nestor Calderon on for Marc Crosas for Santos.
Quintero continued to look dangerous for Santos and in the 57th minute set up a promising play as he put Gomez through allowing him to chip the ball for Oribe Peralta whose header went right to Tally Hall.
After being on the back foot for much of the second half Houston Dynamo started to come alive in the 68th minute as Brad Davis' cross found Boswell whose header was well saved.
Brian Ching came on in the 70th minute for Houston as the hosts searched for a winner in a match that was getting increasingly physical.
Houston kept pressing and in the 89th minute they had their reward as Corey Ashe worked well with Davis to allow Davis to sneak in a low finish just inside the far post and give Houston the vital 1-0 lead heading in to the second leg.