Recap: Houston Dynamo vs New York Red Bulls

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Dynamo are headed to the Eastern Conference finals after beating the Supporter Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls, 2-1 in New Jersey. It took great defending and goal keeping as the Red Bulls pressed for goals throughout the game, but the Dynamo finally found their game winning goal in the 104th minute.

The Dynamo entered the 2nd leg of this tie against the New York Red Bulls after a 2-2 draw at the beautiful BBVA Compass Stadium. In a "win or go home game" the Dynamo proved to have what it takes against the Supporter Shield winners, besting them in Extra Time 2-1, or 4-3 on aggregate.

The first half of the match was a fast paced and slightly sloppy affair that had the home side take advantage of counter attacks. The Dynamo played into this strategy by countering often, rather than maintaining a more composed style that might help them dominate possession. The Red Bulls took advantage of sloppy defending early, with Bradley Wright-Phillips pouncing on a ball that slipped out of the hands of Tally Hall in the 23rd minute.

The Dynamo weren't down and out yet in the half as Brad Davis collected a poor pass from Ibrahim Sekagya at the top of the 18 yard box, sending Luis Robles the wrong way for the equalizer in the 36th minute.

The second half of the match saw the Dynamo improve their standing a bit by increasing their possession, but most of the chances still belonged to the New York Red Bulls. The Dynamo were aided by the efforts of Tally Hall, who seemed to be in all out Hulk mode to make up for his earlier gaffe, as he gobbled up cross after cross and shot after shot. The Dynamo put on two subs in an effort to boost the attack. Omar Cummings looked largely ineffective as he collected balls his first touch took the ball out too far in front of him and he couldn't get involved in the attack. Andrew Driver provided excellent defensive cover and made a few good runs down the line.

Towards the end of the half, the Dynamo played a long ball to Omar Cummings, whom was eager to prove himself, and Cummings was able to take on two defenders but was no match for the third. This game seemed destined for the two 15 minute extra time periods, as the Dynamo failed to create quality chances, and Tally Hall continued to eliminate opportunities by the Red Bulls.

The first period of extra time started much the same way the second half started: the Dynamo came out strong, but the Red Bulls possessed and were able to counter well with nothing coming of their efforts.

Finally, in the 104th minute, Omar Cummings and the Dynamo were able to break through as Cummings nailed a close range shot which was saved but Robles, but ruled (correctly) over the line which put the Dynamo up 2-1.

The Dynamo nearly gave up a penalty, as Bobby Boswell clearly handed the ball however the center official called it to be a foul on Thierry Henry, who had pushed into Boswell, possibly causing his arm to go up. From that point on, the Dynamo were content on maintaining possession and allowing themselves to rest, forcing NY to wear themselves out chasing the ball. The Dynamo nearly had another as Weaver had a good look on goal with about a minute to go, but the Luis Robles made a good stop against the Dynamo forward.

Full time came and the Dynamo won 2-1 (or 3-2 on aggregate) at New York against the Supporter Shield winners. Yes, the Dynamo were outmatched in most of the stats like possession and shots, but their defensive prowess seemed to return as they completely shut down this NY team, aside from a gift by Tally Hall. The Dynamo will go into the next match against the winners of the Sporting Kansas City and New England Revolution match on Saturday in the Eastern Conference Final. This match proves to any of the doubters that this team is indeed a playoff machine that knows how to grind, even against the best team in the league in a tough place to play.

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