The Houston Dynamo came from behind and used another dramatic, late goal to earn a 2-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night at Robertson Stadium and stay in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference, two points out of first place. Houston is next in action on Saturday, taking on in-state rival FC Dallas on the road in Frisco, Texas.
Rookie forward Will Bruin notched the game-winning goal in the 79th minute, the third time this season Houston has scored in the final 15 minutes to win a match and the ninth time the Dynamo have scored late to earn a win or a tie. It was Bruin’s first goal since April 29 and his fifth of the season, most among MLS rookies.
The win was the Dynamo’s second of the year when trailing at halftime and their third when allowing the first goal. Houston is 3-8-7 when allowing the first goal, the second-best record in MLS when falling behind.
Houston dominated the first half but did not create many clear scoring chances, and San Jose capitalized on a counter-attack to take the lead in the 40th minute when Steve Beitashour crossed from the right, and Khari Stephenson volleyed the ball into the left side of the net.
The Dynamo recovered quickly after halftime, with Carlo Costly setting up Brad Davis in the penalty area, where he was felled for a penalty kick. Davis himself, wearing the captain’s armband with Brian Ching injured, drove the penalty kick into the right side of the net for his fourth goal of the season, his third on penalty kicks.
The winning goal started on the right side of the field, with defender Andre Hainault – starting at right back for the first time in 2011 – playing a pass forward that substitute Danny Cruz touched past a defender to newcomer Luiz Camargo. In just his third game with the Dynamo, Camargo lofted a cross into the penalty area for an onrushing Will Bruin, who fired a low, left-footed volley into the right side of the net. The assist was Camargo’s first in American soccer.
With the win, Houston has now won five consecutive home games – including a Sept. 4 friendly against Mexican club Monterrey – and is unbeaten in its last six home MLS games (5-0-1). The Dynamo are 9-3-3 at home in 2011, the second-highest home victory total in club history, second only to the 2008 club’s home mark of 10-1-4. Houston is now 6-1-1 at home against Western Conference opposition.
The hero of the day, rookie forward Will Bruin, tied a club rookie record by making his 23rd MLS appearance of the season, matching Geoff Cameron’s total from 2008 in a 30-game season. Bruin already holds Dynamo rookie records for goals (5), starts (21), and minutes (1,669).
Midfielder Brad Davis, who scored the Dynamo’s opening goal, played 90 minutes to pass Brian Mullan for second place on the Dynamo’s all-time minutes-played list with 14,787, trailing only Pat Onstad (15,339). The start was the 175th for the Dynamo in all competitions for Davis.
Goalkeeper Tally Hall earned the 10th victory of his MLS career in his 35th start. Defender Corey Ashe made his career-high 28th MLS appearance of the season. Defender Bobby Boswell made his 185th career MLS start. Forward Calen Carr made his first career Dynamo start and his fifth appearance of the season after recovering from a preseason concussion.
The Dynamo played without forward Brian Ching (adductor); midfielder Alex Dixon (finger fracture); and defender Eddie Robinson (quad).
Match: Saturday, September 24, 3 p.m., Dynamo at FC Dallas, Pizza Hut Park,
Next Home Match: Saturday, October 1, 3 p.m., Dynamo vs. Chicago Fire, Robertson Stadium