Friday, November 4, 2011

Houston defeat Philly, Take the Series

The Houston Dynamo took a 1 goal aggregate advantage home to Robertson Stadium to face the Philadelphia Union in front of an Orange clad 24,749 fans in what was the final MLS match ever at Robertson Stadium.

The Philadelphia Union made some head scratching line-up changes for the second match in a row that left many question Peter Nowak’s strategy.  The starting line-up saw goal-scoring threat, Sebastian LeToux pushed back into the right side of mid-field, a role he has previously mentioned as not being his preferred, and youngsters Jack McInerny and Danny Mwanga up top.

The first half was not the most entertaining of halves of MLS soccer this season. Both teams did manage to get a couple of half-chances at goal but neither team truly tested the Keepers through most of the half, until the 48’. The Houston Dynamo had a Free-Kick opportunity late in first-half stoppage time which was their bread and butter all season. Houston’s Brad Davis stepped up and delivered a top class ball that was sent curling into the box with both pace and movement. Brian Ching rose above Philadelphia’s defense and headed home a quality ball to give the Dynamo a 3-1 goal advantage on aggregate.

The Philadelphia Union entered the second half down 2 goals and needing an offensive spark.  However, the Houston Dynamo’ Calen Carr nearly sealed the match in the 54’ when he got on the end of a hopeful long ball down the middle by Tally Hall. Carr managed to split the defenders and get a half decent shot off on Faryd Mondragon, but the veteran Keeper made a crucial foot save to keep the Union in the match. The Union managed a couple more attempts at the Houston goal but never truly showed any signs of getting back into this match and the Dynamo held on for the victory.

The result put the Dynamo into the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet Sporting KC in what will surely be an entertaining match this weekend.

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Article by Pedro Gomes, follow him @MLSSuperSub on Twitter. 

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