On a wet Houston evening, the Dynamo rode the foot of Will Bruin, the goal mouth presence of Tally Hall and a little bit of luck to a rugged 1-0 victory over the visiting Montreal Impact.
Bruin notched the only goal of the match in the 40th minute, a shot that caromed off the foot of Montreal defender Eric Miller and over the head of Montreal keeper Troy Perkins who could do nothing but helplessly watch the ball go into the net. It was the type of opportunity that the Bruin of 2013 might have passed on, but coming off his two goal performance against New England Bruin looks brimming with confidence.
The Dynamo might have taken the lead in the 10th minute of the match when Giles Barnes latched on to a long ball from Corey Ashe, drove past Montreal defender Matteo Ferrari and cut a ball back across the middle to an open Andrew Driver. Only a quick reaction from Perkins to get off his line and throw himself at the ball stopped Driver from scoring.
For most of the remainder of the 1st half, Montreal was the slightly better side. Their five-man midfield pressed high and bottled up the center of the pitch, forcing the Dynamo to often resort to ineffective long balls to try and get the ball forward.
Forward Andrew Wenger had a pair of quality opportunities for Montreal, one that went just wide and a one-on-one opportunity where Hall came up big to block the shot. Justin Mapp also had a chance in the 42nd minute following a bad turnover in the midfield but his shot went harmlessly wide.
The Dynamo looked better in the 2nd half, however the first chance of the half fell to Montreal midfielder Patrice Bernier who had his shot from 30 yards out tipped over the crossbar by Hall.
The Dynamo also had a nervy moment in the 63rd minute off a corner kick when Jermaine Taylor whiffed on a header, leaving the ball for Wenger to knock in. Wenger’s shot was poor, however, and Kofi Sarkodie was able to clear it off the line.
The Dynamo had a string of opportunities starting in the 66th minute with a classy shot from Boniek Garcia that just went wide. Bruin had a one-time volley off a Barnes header in the 72nd minute that Perkins saved, followed by a one-one-one in the 75th minute but blasted his shot straight at Perkins.
The Impact pushed hard late for a goal, but as was the case all night long, Hall came up big time and time again cutting off crosses before they reached their intended target.
This was not the prettiest of performances by the Dynamo; in fact at times it looked downright nervy and sloppy. However, this is the type of match that the Dynamo were losing or drawing the past two seasons. Coming up with the full 3 points was important. Quality teams find a way to win on nights like these when they are not at their best. That is exactly what the Dynamo did.
The Dynamo now enjoy two weeks off with their next match coming up on March 29th at Vancouver. They will need this time to get Tony Cascio healthy, as well as Brad Davis who left the match in the 86th minute with an injury.
Lineup: Hall, Ashe, Horst, Taylor, Sarkodie, Davis (Carrasco 86′), Garcia, Clark, Driver (Ownby 82′), Barnes (Sherrod 89′), Bruin
Yellow Cards: Sarkodie (35′), Taylor (52′)
Goals: Bruin (40′)
Lineup: Perkins, Brovsky, Ferrari, Camara, Miller, Bernardello (Mallace 85′), Bernier (Smith 72′), Mapp, Felipe, Warner (González 86′), Wenger
Yellow Cards: Felipe (59′), Camara (77′), Bernardello (78′)
Tags: Houston Dynamo