All eyes were on Houston Friday night as the Dynamo entertained the Philadelphia Union in a key Eastern Conference match-up. Will Bruin’s goal in the 51st minute sparked Houston to a 2-0 win spoiling Philadelphia rookie goaltender Andre Blake’s MLS debut and brought the Dynamo to within two points of the final playoff spot.
Houston spent much of the first half in the offensive third of the field but was unable to dent the net against Blake and the Philadelphia defense. From a Damarcus Beasley service through the goal box in the 21st minute to to a blast from 25 yards by Bruin in the 45th minute, the Houston Dynamo missed seven opportunities to give the home team the lead in a critical Eastern Conference match-up.
“To be totally honest I think in the past three weeks we’ve played some good soccer,” said Dynamo captain in a jubilant Houston locker room. “We’ve created a lot of chances. Just to be fair we weren’t able to put the ball in the back of the net and tonight we just felt if we got that first goal it was going to open up. We kept creating chances but we were a little frustrated in the first half at not being able to score a goal.”
Six minutes into the second half, Davis and the Dynamo were no longer inches away and the first half frustrations were all but forgotten when Bruin finished what started in the Dynamo end with a clear out header from Jermaine Taylor that found the foot of Davis at midfield. Houston’s USA World Cup midfielder turned and threaded a pass through the Union defense and Giles Barnes did the rest chasing it down and delivering a perfect pass to a charging Will Bruin who flicked home his fifth game winner of the season for a 1-0 Dynamo lead.
“Will was great,” continued Davis talking about the game’s first mark. “You know what you’re going to get from him every single week He’s going to work his tail off for the team. With that work he’s going to create chances somewhere and Giles (Barnes) makes a good run on my pass to get on the end of it and then makes a good ball across to Will and Will makes a hard run and we’re able to get that first goal. Then we got a second goal.”
The second goal of the night came from Omar Cummings who entered the match in the 87th minute and needed just three minutes to make his presence felt much as he did in the win against DC United two weeks ago. Cummings goal fluky as it was just what the Dynamo needed in the 90th minute. Cummings attempted to feed Barnes racing into the box but the ball deflected off Union defender Raymond Gaddis into the net.
Blake, the 2014 MLS Super Draft first overall selection, had kept Philadelphia in the match with spectacular stops in the 63rd and 84th minutes of play.
The victory plunged Houston into the thick of the playoff race. With eleven games to play, Houston sits three points out of the fourth place berth.
“Points are really. It’s especially important to win at home against a team we think we should beat,” shared Dynamo keeper Tally Hall who recorded his second consecutive home shutout. “We’re looking to go on a run. We don’t have time to waste any more.”