What a night in Houston. Lots of controversy as a goal that looked good not allowed and a goal that was clearly a handball allowed to stand. Fortunately for Houston fans, it was the Dynamo who got the last break and thanks to Hunter Freeman, snatched victory from the jaws of a disappointing draw, defeating the New England Revolution 1-0.
The Revolution opened the match trying to pressure Houston and managed to control possession for the first 15 minutes of the game, they just weren't creating chances. When Dynamo did get the ball, they were connecting passes and creating chances...problem is they weren't finishing and instead of having a big early lead, it remained scoreless. I'm not exaggerating either, Will Bruin missed two headers with the second chance being on an open goal from about six-yards out. It's the kind of miss that will mentally haunt a player.
For the rest of the half, the Dynamo controlled possession and set the tempo for the match, but continued to miss great scoring chances. It was a prime example of how frustrating soccer can be at times when a team dominates play, greatest goal opportunities but seems to be battling an invisible wall covering the entire goal mouth.
We also got multiple good examples of why the Dynamo signed Hunter Freeman in the off-season. We knew Kinnear wanted to solidify the defense, but Freeman is a dual purpose player who got forward with the attack several times and made some excellently placed crosses that nearly (and should have) led to goals.
Despite that, the level of play from Houston was crisp and well organized as the week to week and half to half improvement of this team continues. Still, definitely a bit disappointing not to be up by at least a goal or two at the half.
Dynamo continued to pour on the pressure and create opportunities in the second half and finally broke through in the 55th minute when Bobby Boswell sent a rebound that appeared to cross the line to everyone except the linesman, who was too busy picking his nose or fixing his hair to realize there was a goal...ok, enough venting.
It was close, damn close. Take a look at the picture below and while it's clear the ball is in, it's nearly impossible to tell if it's completely over the line. Tough call, but it's another obvious reason for goal line technology.
The night's controversy wasn't done yet though.
Justice, at least from a Dynamo perspective, was served in the 86th minute when a scramble right on the goal line, led to the Dynamo finally breaking through with the game winner. After Cam Weaver rattled the crossbar, Hunter Freeman boxed out Matt Reis and the ball clearly went it off Freeman's arm or hand. Match referee Alex Prus didn't see it and the goal stood, but there's not doubt Revolution fans will feel aggrieved by the missed call.
The win moves Houston to 2-1-2 (8 points), the Dynamo will be back in action on Saturday (4/23) against the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Tonight's victory is also the first back-to-back wins for the Dynamo this season, you might recall it took until the final two matches of 2010 for Houston to accomplish that feet.
I'll call that moving in the right direction.