On a warm spring day in downtown Houston the Dynamo entered the MLS record books. With a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire the Dynamo are now unbeaten in 35 consecutive home matches, breaking Real Salt Lake’s record. The win didn’t come easy as the Dynamo scored first, were equalized quickly thereafter, and then scored the winner on somewhat of a fluke.
The opening goal occurred in the 26th minute and the set up was straight off an “And 1” video. Brad Davis got the ball on the left and beat Fire defender Wells Thompson with an ankle breaking move. As Thompson fell, Davis had all day to pick out a cross and he found Will Bruin all alone in the six yard box. Bruin slammed his header past Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson and the Dynamo had the early lead. That lead however, was short lived.
Just three minutes later, the Fire equalized. Bobby Boswell’s attempted clearance didn’t get out of the 18 yard box. The ball couldn’t be trapped by Dan Paladini and Corey Ashe missed a clearance attempt. The ball then fell to Fire forward Chris Rolfe and he took his half volley very well, beating Tally Hall into the upper corner.
The Dynamo pushed for the go ahead goal with chances. Sean Johnson made a few good saves but a lot of chances went begging, going over the top and wide.
It was Chicago who had a golden chance to go in front in the 70th minute. Second half sub Patrick Nyarko raced down the right side and crossed to fellow sub Maicon Santos. Santos couldn’t attack the ball in stride and flubbed the shot from 4 yards out.
Brad Davis got the winner in the 79th minute on what he would describe after the match as a pass. “I wasn’t shooting,” Davis told the media in the postgame press conference. Davis collected the ball some 25-30 yards out on the right and sent in a cross looking to find a teammate to nod it home. The ball instead bounced in the box, avoiding both Dynamo and Fire players, and found the far corner of the net. Boswell was nearest the ball as it bounced through and the public address announcer even credited Boswell with the goal. However, once the ball went in Boswell immediately turned and pointed to Davis as he ran to celebrate with him. It was Davis’ second goal on the season.
The Fire had one last chance to salvage a point late but Jeff Larentowicz’ header caromed off the crossbar in the 84th minute.
The record for consecutive unbeaten home matches is what will be remembered most about this match and the Dynamo players were proud to have accomplished the feat. Davis said after the match, “It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication to complete something like this.”
The next chance to extend the streak will come April 28th against the Colorado Rapids. First the Dynamo head north of the border to take on Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon.
(image courtesy of USA Today Sports Images)