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Dom Kinnear and the Dynamo know what to do when the playoffs start. Last night at BBVA Compass the Dynamo shut out the Montreal Impact 3-0 and advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals where they will take on the New York Red Bulls. Will Bruin scored twice and the Dynamo kept their composure as things got heated late in the match.
It was Bruin who got the Dynamo on the board first, while also silencing some of his critics. The lead up to the goal was world class and Ricardo Clark’s backheel assist will be shown on highlight reels. Bruin received Clark’s pass and finished past Troy Perkins to put Houston up 16 minutes in.
About ten minutes later Boniek Garcia drew a penalty after Hernan Bernardello tripped him up inside the box. Boniek took the penalty himself and sent Perkins the wrong way. The Honduran celebrated by what looked like kissing of both biceps. Boniek was actually kissing the babies in his arms; his wife recently gave birth to twins.
After receiving a yellow for what looked like a clear elbow in the first half, Nelson Rivas again got his elbow up on a challenge and was shown his second yellow and subsequent red in the 70th minute. 2 minutes later Houston put the game to bed. Will Bruin headed a ball forward and beat the Impact defense to the ball. Bruin then calmly pushed the ball away from Perkins and finished into the net, sending the small but very loud crowd into frenzy.
Trailing 3-0, a man down, and their season coming to an end, the Impact lost their heads. After fouling Kofi Sarkodie near the corner flag, Andres Romero kicked Sarkodie near the groin while the Dynamo defender was still on the ground. This set off a mini melee as players from both sides began pushing and shoving. Impact forward Marco Di Vaio then decided he was Wolverine for Halloween and scratched Corey Ashe in the neck and then across his face. Both Romero and Di Vaio were sent off as the Impact finished the match with just 8 players.
The Dynamo now advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals to take on the New York Red Bulls. Houston will host the first leg Sunday, with the second leg in New Jersey on Wednesday. The Red Bulls outscored the Dynamo 9-1 this season in 3 meetings. It’s going to be an uphill climb for the Dynamo to say the least. Eric Brunner and Bobby Boswell will have to remain solid in defense against the potent Red Bulls attack. To me, this is the key. If Houston can grab a win at home and go on the road to defend a draw, they’ll be in good shape. Sunday is huge. The Dynamo must get off to a good start. A home loss will effectively end the season.