Yesterday, we looked at important playoff games in Dynamo history that took place on October 29. Today, we do the same for October 30. Although Houston has only played one game the night before Halloween, it was an important one, as it set the tone for the Dynamo's 2011 run to the MLS Cup final:
October 30, 2011 vs. Philadelphia Union
Winning on the road has never come easy for the Dynamo and last season was no exception. The Dynamo went winless in their first 15 road matches before finishing the season with consecutive wins against Dallas and Portland away from Robertson Stadium. Having won four of their final five matches, the Dynamo entered the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the East, which set up a conference semifinal showdown with the Philadelphia Union.
Entering the match, the Dynamo were 0-2-2 all-time against Philadelphia and 0-3-2 all-time on the road in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Neither stat left Dynamo fans feeling confident heading into the first leg of the series at PPL Park.
The stats did not trouble the Dynamo, however, as the team jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Andre Hainault headed home a Brad Davis free kick in the fifth minute. Philadelphia responded quickly and leveled the match only two minutes later when Sebastien Le Toux broke free and placed a shot past Tally Hall.
The Dynamo would not be denied, however, and found what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 30th minute. After Brian Ching received the ball 40 yards from goal, the Dynamo's all-time leading scorer split a pair of Union defenders to find the surging Calen Carr. The Dynamo striker would not be denied as he one-touched the ball to the left of a sliding Faryd Mondragon.
Houston won the game 2-1 and won the return leg 1-0 to set up the ensuing conference final match with Sporting Kansas City.