Dynamo win 3-1, 90 minutes away from MLS Cup
Maybe it was a case of DC United having the case of the tired the legs; having been on the road since Wednesday in New York.
Maybe it was case of pure dumb luck; as the Dynamo escaped a possible red card right before the half.
Maybe it was just destiny; as a Dominic Kinnear coached team has all the tools to succeed in the playoffs.
Check out our slideshow at the Dynamo game.
Rice Owls Mens Basketball vs. Charlotte Mens Basketball
TicketsSat., Jan. 28, 7:00pm
Gridiron Glory: The Best of Pro Football HOF -- 10AM-3PM
TicketsMon., Jan. 30, 10:00am
Gridiron Glory: The Best of Pro Football HOF -- 3PM-8PM
TicketsMon., Jan. 30, 3:00pm
Super Bowl Opening Night Fueled By Gatorade
TicketsMon., Jan. 30, 7:00pm
In the final match at BBVA Compass Stadium in 2012, the Dynamo had a thrilling 3-1 come-from-behind victory to take a to 2 goal lead heading into the second leg of the Eastern Conference Finals with United.
The game featured everything: goals, bruises and controversies.
First came a couple of key injuries. In the 12th minute of the match, DC lost their All-Star in Chris Pontius. Minutes later, Dynamo midfielder Adam Moffat went down for the Orange, prompting Kinnear to use seldom-used Englishman, Giles Barnes.
DC United struck first halfway through the first half, when Nick De Leon was in prime position to put a rebound in following a DC counterattack. De Leon was also the hero for DC in their 1-0 win the Red Bulls last Thursday.
Right before the halftime whistle, DC countered again. This time, a long through ball looked to put Raphael Augusto through to goal, only it appeared he was dragged down by Andre Hainault. Head referee Ricardo Salazar ruled it was incidental contact and allowed play to continue.
Even though the Dynamo were down 1-0 at the half, Kinnear knew his team was calm. "I'm sure they were a little bit upset being behind at halftime, but by no means was it that we were really, really frustrated."
Hainault quickly shook off the would-be red card. Ten minutes into the second half, the Dynamo took a quick free kick, catching DC off guard. Boniek Garcia went to the endline, swung a low ball to Hainault, who put the ball away the tied the game at 1-1.
Barnes, who came in for Moffat earlier in the match, was able to make his mark in the 68th minute. After receiving a pass from Corey Ashe in the left corner of the endline, he shook off his defender and raced toward goal. His shot was deflected by the goalkeeper, only it was deflected right in front of goal. Will Bruin was there, of course, and fired in the Dynamo's second goal.
Already tired and beaten, DC United were just trying to leave BBVA with a one-goal loss. Kofi Sarkodie had other ideas. Following a cleared corner kick in the 81st minute, Sarkodie played a one-two with Luiz Camargo. Sarkodie wound up free just outside the six, where he buried his shot to the far post.
Sarkodie's goal was the third of half. Coming out of the gates in the second half was key for Dynamo, as they didn't want to be trailing in the aggregate goal margin going back to DC.
"We came in, didn't panic or anything," said defender Bobby Boswell. "We went out and they got a little tired and we got all over them. That was a man's win."
The win means the Dynamo again will take a two goal aggregate lead heading into second leg of the conference finals. They'll lace 'em up again on Sunday. If they pull off another series win, it will mark their fourth conference final championship and their chance at a third MLS Cup on December 1.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.