The Dynamo broke back into the win column for the first time since April 29 after making a Heath Pearce own goal stand up for a 2-1 win over Chivas USA at Robertson Stadium on Saturday.
Houston caught a break in the 55th minute when Pearce deflected a Brad Davis corner kick into his own net to give the home team a one-goal lead. After Michael Lahoud deflected Davis’s kick into the six yard box, the ball ricocheted off Pearce’s leg and past Goats goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
Chivas USA pushed forward to create chances in final stanza after Pearce’s own goal in hopes of pulling back a result on the road. A strong strike by second-half substitute Justin Braun missed wide, while a late Michael Lahoud shot on target was thwarted by Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. Despite their late opportunities, the Goats could not find their touch in the final third and failed to pull a result on the road.
A series of unfortunate events left Houston with a bumpy start to the match. Marcos Mondaini gave the visitors the lead in the seventh minute after poaching a botched Hunter Freeman back pass and winning a one-on-one battle with Hall to give Chivas an early lead. After collecting the pass, the Argentine forward pushed the ball around an on-rushing Hall and slotted a tight shot into an open net for his third goal of the season.
Mondaini’s finish came four minutes after an apparent Bobby Boswell goal was waved off after Freeman was whistled for goalkeeper infringement. Boswell headed a Davis corner kick out of the air into the corner for what looked to be an early Houston lead. However, the Freeman foul pulled the goal off the board and kept the early score level until Mondaini’s strike moments later.
Geoff Cameron scored the equalizer in the 29th minute by heading a ball from the penalty spot past a lunging Dan Kennedy. Davis collected his league-leading ninth assist on the play after putting a customary well-placed ball in the mixer which Cameron – playing effectively in midfield and later at center back – converted to level the score.
It was not all good for the Dynamo on Saturday. Dynamo starting center back Eddie Robinson collided with a Chivas USA player during the fracas surrounding Pearce’s own goal and suffered a knee injury that forced his removal. Danny Cruz entered the match to play right midfield, pushing Cameron back to center back.
Houston improves to 18 points and a third-place tie in the Eastern Conference and will host the Columbus Crew next Saturday night. Chivas USA stays on 17 points and will host Western conference second place team FC Dallas next Saturday.
Chivas USA (4-5-5) vs. Houston Dynamo (4-5-6)
June 11, 2011 -- Robertson Stadium, Houston, TX
CHV -- Marcos Mondaini 3 (unassisted) 7
HOU -- Geoff Cameron 2 (Brad Davis 9) 29
HOU -- Own goal (Heath Pearce) 56
Chivas USA -- Dan
Kennedy, Michael Lahoud, Heath Pearce, Michael Umana, Ante Jazic, Ben Zemanski
(Blair Gavin 77), Nick LaBrocca, Paulo Nagamura, Jorge Flores (Simon Elliott
46), Marcos Mondaini (Justin Braun 61), Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Boyens, Chris Cortez, Zarek Valentin, Zach Thornton.
Houston Dynamo -- Tally
Hall, Hunter Freeman, Bobby Boswell, Eddie Robinson (Danny Cruz 56), Corey
Ashe, Colin Clark (Mike Chabala 82), Geoff Cameron, Lovel Palmer, Brad Davis,
Will Bruin, Cam Weaver (Brian Ching 70).
Substitutes Not Used: Alex Dixon, Jason Garey, Kofi Sarkodie, Tyler Deric.
CHV -- Michael Umana (caution; Tactical Foul) 48
CHV -- Heath Pearce (caution; Reckless Foul) 59
Referee: Geoff Gamble
Referee's Assistants: Daniel Belleau; Eric Proctor
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-89 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial