The Houston Dynamo attack got their wake-up call Saturday night, splashing the net three times on the way to a 3-0 win over the Montreal Impact.
Giles Barnes made sure the Dynamo didn't have to wait long for that much-needed goal, scoring in the 15th with a glancing header off a free kick. The newly minted Jamaican international cut across the box redirecting Brad Davis’ effort to the far post, leaving Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush to watch as the Dynamo took an early lead.
In the 72nd minute Ricardo Clark added insurance, hitting a point-blank shot into the roof of the goal. Second half substitute Rob Lovejoy burst down the left sideline and cut the ball back to Clark. The midfielder took a long touch through a defender's legs and found the ball perfectly teed up his first goal of the season.
Lovejoy then found his reward in the 80th minute, pushing up the field from the left flank and curling a shot into the far upper 90. The rookie winger brought an immediate spark to the game with his pace and his sterling shot from distance opened his MLS account and was the icing on Houston’s offensive outburst.
The win is Houston’s second of the season – and first since the season opener – and more than doubled their season total after scoring twice in their first four games. Montreal’s defeat comes on the heels of their advancing to the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League final on Tuesday night, and leaves them searching for goals in league play after being shut out in three of their first four games.
Barnes’ early goal was a tough pill for the Impact to swallow considering they controlled the game early and peppered the Dynamo goal. Montreal started eight of the players who helped them advance over Costa Rican side Alajuelense four days ago and showed little fatigue.
The visitors got off five shots while dominating possession early on. Dilly Duka and Donny Toia pushed the game up the left flank, where they tested goalkeeper Tyler Deric twice with no luck in the first half.
Barnes attempted a double in the 41st minute when he beat the backline to get to a well-played ball by Boniek García. Driving right to left, the forward tried a chip to the far post but this time it was wide of the target, leaving the score 1-0 at the half.
Both teams came out firing in the second half. Barnes, who crushed a shot off the post in the 78th minute, forced Bush into his first save just two minutes in from the top of the box. and Jack McInerney forced Deric to stop a shot that resulted from a goal kick he misplayed.
Montreal continued to control the ball in Houston’s half and got a golden opportunity to even the score in the 58th minute. After Andres Romero drew a foul at the top of Houston’s 18-yard box, Patrice Bernier hit his 20-yard free kick over the wall but caught the top of the crossbar to deny the Impact an equalizer.
Montreal return home to host the Chicago Fire next weekend while the Dynamo travel to the nation’s capital to face D.C. United.