Match Recap: Houston Dynamo 1, Columbus Crew 0
The St. Louis natives combined to break the scoreless deadlock in the 50th minute at BBVA Compass Stadium. The two linked up on free kick in an unconventional manner, as Davis put the ball in the middle of a group in Columbus' box and it was the back of Bruin’s head that made the contact to fool Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark and give the Dynamo the lead.
Regardless, Bruin, who worked off an excellent pick from Andrew Driver, got his third goal in three games. It was Davis’ fourth assist in five games. Bruin is the first Dynamo player to score in three consecutive games since he did it himself in 2012.
The win jumps Houston into a four-way tie for first place in the Eastern Conference while Columbus’ winless streak goes to six games.
Crew substitute Justin Meram came a post away from pulling out a point in the 83rd minute, but his long range effort off a one-man break beat Dynamo 'keeper Tally Hall but found only the woodwork.
The deficit was unkind to the visitors, as Columbus pushed the pace early and often. The visitors used their speed and the passing of Federico Higuain to put Houston’s goal under siege. Columbus managed 18 shots total, eight in the first half, to the Dynamo’s 11.
In the 24th minute Jairo Arrieta, who was good early, forced Hall into action after cutting around David Horst for a hard shot. Hall fumbled the shot, but Higuain could not gear down quickly enough to handle the rebound.
Hall came up with a massive double save to preserve the scoreless half six minutes later. Off a corner kick, Giancarlo Gonzalez attempted to redirect a shot at Hall; it was stuffed by a lunging stop from the Dynamo ‘keeper. The rebound looked to be handled by Arrieta in the box, however there was no call, forcing Hall back into action.
Houston came back to life in the final five minutes of the half with Driver coming close on a counter but shooting wide and Giles Barnes finally forced Clark into action in the 41st minute, but his long range shot was turned back.
After the break the Crew came out of the halftime break looking for a goal but Bernardo Anor was wide. Five minutes later Bruin made the misses costly, putting Houston ahead for good.
Columbus did not go without a fight. Waylon Francis, who lost Bruin on the goal, forced a leaping save from Hall and minutes later Arrieta took a turn-and-fire shot from point blank range after that, but again the Dynamo ‘keeper was up for the challenge.
Houston remains home Sunday to host Real Salt Lake. Columbus will host the Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday.
Houston Dynamo (4-4-2; 14 points) vs. Columbus Crew (3-3-3; 12 points)
MLS regular season
May 7, 2014 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
Houston: Will Bruin 6 (Brad Davis 4) 50
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, AJ Cochran, Corey Ashe; Servando Carrasco, Brad Davis (Warren Creavalle 61), Giles Barnes; Boniek Garcia (Omar Cummings 85), Will Bruin (Mark Sherrod 74), Andrew Driver
Unused substitutes: Tyler Deric, Brian Ownby, Alexander Lopez, Anthony Arena
Columbus Crew: Steve Clark; Josh Williams (Adam Bedell 77), Giancarlo Gonzalez, Michael Parkhurst, Waylon Francis; Agustin Viana (Dan Paladini 65), Tony Tchani; Dominic Oduro (Justin Meram 69), Federico Higuain, Bernardo Anor; Jairo Arrieta
Unused substitutes: Matt Lampson, Tyson Wahl, Eric Gehrig, Ethan Finlay
CLB: Bernardo Anor (caution) 60
CLB: Federico Higuain (caution) 61
CLB: Dan Paladini (caution) 80
HOU: Warren Creavalle (caution) 87
Referee: Jorge Gonzales
Assistant Referees: Jeff Muschik, Eric Weisbrod
Fourth Official: Ted Unkel