Geoff Cameron scored with three minutes remaining as the Houston Dynamo earned their first road win of the season with a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas on Saturday afternoon at Pizza Hut Park.
Cameron headed home a Brad Davis corner kick to secure all three points and give the Dynamo the right to retake El Capitán, the Civil War-era howitzer symbolic of the Texas Derby rivalry with FC Dallas. More importantly for the Dynamo, the win at Pizza Hut Park catapulted them to first place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points, leading the Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City by one point. The Crew play host to the LA Galaxy Saturday night.
The shutout loss for FC Dallas marked their third straight defeat in league play and extended their scoreless streak to 359 minutes in all competitions after striking the woodwork three times against Houston.
Both teams had vital players return to the lineup, with Dynamo forward Brian Ching starting for the first time in two games and FCD’s Marvin Chávez returning from an ankle injury he suffered with the Honduran national team.
The Dynamo came out of the gates fast, with Luiz Camargo registering the game's first shot in the second minute, but the team in orange failed to generate many more chances in the first half.
In contrast to CONCACAF Champions League match against Pumas on Wednesday, FC Dallas put several shots on target in the first half, forcing Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall to make three early saves, perhaps none bigger than the one he made on Jackson in the 12th minute. Combining with Brek Shea with a series of headed passes, Jackson worked his way into the Dynamo 18-yard box and side-winded a Shea pass at Hall, who sprawled to his right to make a diving save of what looked like a certain goal.
With the Dallas scoring drought continuing and the first half nearing its end, Andrew Jacobson appeared to have scored when he volleyed home a ball in the 42nd minute, but referee Ricardo Salazar called George John for interfering with the goalkeeper Hall prior to Hall's punch that landed at Jacobson’s feet.
In the second half, the Dynamo were kept inside their own defensive third for a majority of the 45 minutes, but FC Dallas could not capitalize, with Jackson proving unlucky on the afternoon. In the 58th minute, after taking possession in Houston’s own half of the field, Jackson – who moved to the striker position after the break – ran at Hall, and from a tight angle the Brazilian hit the outside of the far post. Minutes later, John headed a ball on frame after a corner kick, but the crossbar thwarted him.
With only minutes left in the match, and the game heading toward a scoreless draw, Cameron came through for Houston, heading home a Davis corner kick and giving the visitors the full three points. FC Dallas next travels to face Colorado next Saturday, while the Dynamo host the Chicago Fire at Robertson Stadium that afternoon.
Houston Dynamo (10-9-12) vs. FC Dallas (13-10-7)
September 24, 2011 -- Pizza Hut Park, Frisco, TX
HOU -- Geoff Cameron 5 (Brad Davis 14) 87
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe, Adam Moffat, Luiz Camargo, Brad Davis, Danny Cruz (Je-Vaughn Watson 58), Brian Ching (Carlo Costly 78), Calen Carr (Colin Clark 64).
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Will Bruin, Hunter Freeman, Jermaine Taylor.
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Zach Loyd (Jack Stewart 71), George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez, Jackson, Daniel Hernandez, Andrew Jacobson, Ricardo Villar (Daniel Cruz 53), Brek Shea, Maicon Santos (Marvin Chavez 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Fabian Castillo, Jeremy Hall, Bobby Warshaw.
HOU -- Bobby Boswell (caution; Reckless Tackle) 26
DAL -- Ugo Ihemelu (caution; Reckless Tackle) 33
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: Craig Lowry; Peter Manikowski
4th Official: Armando Villarreal
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial