The Houston Dynamo know how to finish a season, beating Chivas USA 3-2 on Sunday afternoon. With the three points, the Dynamo secured second place in the Western Conference Playoffs, as only a head-to-head tiebreaker separates them from first place Los Angeles Galaxy.
The Dynamo broke the game open with a pair of goals in three minutes. First, in the 26th minute Brad Davis curled a corner kick to the far post, which was redirected to the middle of the box by Dynamo defender Ryan Cochrane. Another Dynamo defender, Andrew Hainault, headed the ball in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. Three minutes later, a lapse from the Chivas defense saw Dominic Oduro race past everyone to beat the Chivas goalkeeper, making it 2-0.
In the 52nd minute, Chivas got caught napping on defense again. Two Dynamo substitutes connected for the team's third goal, as Cam Weaver found Abe Thompson, who found the goal. For Hainault, Oduro, and Thompson, the goals were their first of the season (better late than never).
The Dynamo would need all the goals. In the 56th minute, the Goats' Michael Lahoud beat Dynamo keeper Pat Onstad to cut the lead to two. In the 88th minute, Eduardo Lillingston converted a penalty kick to make it 3-2.
Chivas USA had a couple more chances to tie the game, but the Dynamo's defense was able to hold the lead.
The victory marked the first time the Dynamo beat Chivas USA in California, and extended their dominance over the Goats.
The Orange will face Seattle Sounders FC in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs, playing the first game on Thursday night in Seattle. The second leg comes to Houston on Sunday, November 8.
The winner of the series will be determined by the aggregate score, meaning the team with most goals in both games will move on to the conference finals. Look for my (un)official predictions for all four matchups in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs on Tuesday.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.