The Houston Dynamo moved into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Sunday night at Robertson Stadium, extending the Dynamo’s unbeaten streak to three games. Midfielder Adam Moffat, acquired from Portland in a July 21 trade, scored a spectacular 40-yard goal to lead the Dynamo attack.
It was the first of three games in seven days for Houston, which plays at New England on Wednesday night and will host Real Salt Lake on Saturday. With 10 games remaining, Houston is currently in position to qualify for the postseason.
Houston is now 3-1-4 in its last eight games, dating back to June 25, and trails second-place Philadelphia by three points and first-place Columbus by six points in the Eastern Conference. The Dynamo are now unbeaten in the last 10 matches captain Brian Ching has started (4-0-6), dating back to September 2010.
With the win, the Dynamo evened their record at 7-7-10, reaching the .500 mark for the first time since May 21, when Houston was 3-3-5. The win was the seventh of the season at home for the Dynamo (7-3-3), surpassing last year’s total of six (6-6-3).
The Dynamo’s night began with a bang in the 17th minute when midfielder Adam Moffat settled the clearance of a corner kick and rifled a 40-yard shot into the top right corner of the net, scoring against his former team and notching his first goal since July 3, 2010.
Houston doubled its lead with a terrific passing sequence in the 27th minute. Midfielder Brad Davis began the play on the left sideline with a no-look pass to midfielder Colin Clark breaking into the penalty area. Clark threaded a pass through the legs of a defender to forward Brian Ching, who bent a low shot inside the far post for his fourth goal of the season.
For Brad Davis, the assist broke a tie for the league lead in assists with David Beckham, giving Davis 11 for the season. It was also the 75th assist of Davis’ MLS career. By playing 80 minutes in the match, Davis passed the 2,000-minute mark for the season, the third straight year in which he has played at least 2,000 minutes after only doing so once in his first seven seasons.
Portland pulled a goal back in the second half when Jack Jewsbury converted a left-footed shot from near the penalty spot after a cross was deflected back to him.
Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall made four crucial saves on the night to help the Dynamo hold on for a 2-1 win. Hall’s best stop came on an Eddie Johnson breakaway in just the fifth minute, but he also reacted quickly to stop a Kenny Cooper one-timer in the 84th minute and preserve the lead.
Dynamo forward Carlo Costly made his home debut and the first start of his Dynamo and MLS career, playing 56 minutes.
Captain Brian Ching made the 150th start of his Major League Soccer career and scored his fourth goal of the season. Ching has now scored three times in his last three games.
For their respective careers, defender Bobby Boswell made his 180th start and midfielder Geoff Cameron his 75th start. It was also Cameron’s 95th career start for the Dynamo in all competitions. Forward Cam Weaver came on as a substitute to make his 55th appearance for the Dynamo in all competitions.
Match: Wednesday, August 17, 7 p.m. CT, Dynamo at New England Revolution,
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough MA
Next Home Match: Saturday, August 20, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake, Robertson Stadium