BRIDGEVIEW, IL. -- The Houston Dynamo struggled on the road this season, but that wasn't the case on Wednesday night in a 2-1 Eastern Conference Knockout Round win over the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park.
The Dynamo, the best home team in MLS, were just 3-9-5 in regular season road matches and 1-9-5 in their last 15. One of the worst defeats away from home came on Sept. 2, a 3-1 road loss to Chicago.
But Houston scoring hero Will Bruin, who netted both of his team's goals in Wednesday night's playoff triumph, said that match back in September left no emotional scars.
"The score line doesn't tell how that game went,'' Bruin said. "We gave up some soft goals, some give-aways early, and we knew that wasn't how that game should have gone for us. We knew that if we took out those simple turnovers the game could go to us.''
There were no early mistakes by the Dynamo on Wednesday. And Bruin, who scored 12 goals during the regular season, headed in Brad Davis' corner kick in the 13th minute for the goal that got Houston on its way to the Eastern Conference semifinals against top-seeded Sporting Kansas City.
"After that first goal we had the feeling this was our game,'' Bruin said. "We felt we were playing well under pressure, and getting that goal was a reward for our good play.''
Bruin scored his second goal 18 seconds into the second half off a setup from Calen Carr. That strike proved to be the game-winner, as the Fire scored late to make a game of it.
Alex's goal for Chicago was too little too late as the Dynamo advanced to Sunday's first match of a two-game home-and-home series with Sporting Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Dynamo were 11-0-6 at home this season and became the fourth team in MLS history to complete a home schedule without suffering a defeat. The club has gone a total of 25 regular season games without a defeat dating back to last year.
"It's awesome to get a playoff game at BBVA [Compass Stadium],'' Bruin said. "Our fans deserve it because they've supported us all season and made us a very tough home team.''