After another exciting but scoreless 90 minutes, forward Brian Ching – playing through a torn meniscus – hit a swiveling volley to the top left side netting five minutes into overtime to lift Houston to another memorable home playoff win and a spot in the Western Conference final for the third time in four years.
The Houston Dynamo advanced to the Western Conference championship game with a dramatic 1-0 overtime win against the Seattle Sounders Sunday at Robertson Stadium. Forward Brian Ching scored the game-winning goal with a swiveling volley in the 95th minute, netting his 50th career Dynamo goal in all competitions and sixth for the Dynamo in the postseason, both club records. It was his 10th goal of the season in all competitions.
The Dynamo advance to their third conference championship game in four years and will face the winner of Sunday night's Chivas USA vs. Los Angeles Galaxy game. If the Galaxy win, they will host the conference final on Friday night at 10 p.m. CT. If Chivas USA wins, the Dynamo will host the conference final next Sunday at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Houston controlled possession and outshot Seattle 15-11 on the game. Its best chance game in the 23rd minute, when forward Dominic Oduro rifled a shot off the left post.
Seattle's best chance came in the 36th minute, when Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron deflected a Steve Zakuani cross on goal, and goalkeeper Pat Onstad reacted quickly to make the save. Onstad made four saves to earn his second consecutive shutout and third in the last four games. The win was Onstad's 10th and the shutout his fifth in his career in MLS Cup Playoffs action.
After the teams had played 180 scoreless minutes through regulation, the Dynamo got the breakthrough in the 95th minute of the second leg. Brad Davis took a free kick quickly on the left sideline and found Mike Chabala in the corner. Chabala's cross was kept alive at the back post by Brian Mullan, and captain Brian Ching was on hand to volley the ball into the left side netting. Ching also scored game-winning goals for the Dynamo in conference semifinal playoff games in 2006 (stoppage time vs. CHV) and 2007 (extra time vs. FCD).
Seattle's James Riley was ejected in the 120th minute for a hard foul on Ricardo Clark. Each team was also issued two yellow cards. Houston's Mike Chabala received his second yellow card of the first round series, and he will miss the conference final.
The Dynamo are now 5-1 all-time at home in MLS Cup Playoffs games. Defenders Bobby Boswell and Geoff Cameron both made their 40th appearance of the season out of 43 competitive games. Midfielder Stuart Holden made his 75th career start for the Dynamo in all competitions.
Midfielder Corey Ashe came on as a substitute in the 98th minute for the Dynamo, making his first appearance since being injured in the Dynamo Charities Cup on October 11, four weeks ago.
"We did the Houston magic tonight, and that's what we got them on," Dynamo midfielder Stuart Holden said. "I think the mentality was that we were the only team that was going to win. They had a couple of chances on counter attacks and maybe set pieces. Other than that, I was confident that even if they scored, that we would have the chance to get one back as we've done previously in other playoff games. That's the mentality of this team: We are never going to give up, and we knew it was going to take something special tonight. Brian came up with that for us."
Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo
November 08, 2009 -- Robertson Stadium, Houston TX
Western Conference Semifinals -- Game 2
HOU -- Brian Ching 1 (unassisted) 96
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Tyrone Marshall (Sanna Nyassi 104), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Nate Jaqua, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani (Roger Levesque 67), Freddie Ljungberg, Fredy Montero (Sebastien Le Toux 91).
Substitutes Not Used: Terry Boss, Patrick Ianni, Peter Vagenas, Tyson Wahl
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Andrew Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Mike Chabala, Brian Mullan, Ricardo Clark, Stuart Holden, Brad Davis (Corey Ashe 98), Brian Ching (Cam Weaver 106), Dominic Oduro (Luis Angel Landin 81).
Substitutes Not Used: Tally Hall, Wade Barrett, Ryan Cochrane, Eddie Robinson.
SEA -- Tyrone Marshall (caution; Reckless Tackle) 24
HOU -- Mike Chabala (caution; Reckless Foul) 44
HOU -- Geoff Cameron (caution; Tactical Foul) 93+
SEA -- James Riley (ejection; Violent Conduct) 120
SEA -- Freddie Ljungberg (caution; Dissent) 120
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee's Assistants: Nate Clement; Anthony Vasoli
4th official: Mark Geiger
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial