It wasn’t quite the same margin of victory as opening weekend, but the job was done. The Houston Dynamo were able to overcome Montreal’s attack for a narrow 1-0 victory on a rainy night in front of more than 18,000 fans.
Once again Will Bruin was the hero, netting the game’s only goal in the 40th minute after his shot from just outside the 18 yard box was deflected off Impact defender Eric Miller and past the goalkeeper. It just goes to show you, when you’re on, things go your way.
Bruin wasn’t the only player who stood out on Saturday night. Tally Hall was responsible for four saves, and the backline was there to help him when the Impact threatened. Hall stopped a good chance from Andrew Wenger in the 39th minute, then tapped a rocket from Patrice Bernier over the bar in the second half that had the makings of a goal.
Kofi Sarkodie made arguably the biggest save of the night in 63rd when he cleared a Montreal chance off the goal line – a type of clearance he’s becoming known for. Sarkodie truly has an incredible instinct for when and where to position himself to help protect his keeper. If you look at the replays of the Sarkodie save, you’ll see he stands his ground, attentive to where the ball is, and calmly clears it when it comes his way.
Against New England, the offense was too strong for the Revolution and the club walked away for a four goal explosion. The Impact presented much more of a danger the entire night, and Houston had to play more controlled and focused with such a slim lead.
At times, the equalizer seemed imminent, but the Dynamo defense stood their ground.
The first half was largely dominated by Montreal, with several chances that just could not be converted. Houston’s best opportunity early came in just the 10th minute, when Giles Barnes broke free on the left flank, got out wide and sent a laser of a pass to Andrew Driver. Driver, unmarked, tried to tap the ball in, but Troy Perkins was able to make the save.
Houston grabbed the goal – and likely frustrated the visitors – off a deflection shortly before the half and gave the Dynamo momentum heading into the second.
Boniek Garcia was effective, but Montreal did much better than the Revolution in containing him on the night. The Honduran nearly put up the goal of the week in the 66th minute as he fired a shot from the corner of the box and it went just wide.
Bruin again had a chance against Perkins in the 75th minute, but there was little space and his shot was easily blocked.
The Dynamo have won their first two matches, scored five goals, and locked up two clearn sheets. The two victories and goal differential are enough to keep them on top of the Major League Soccer standings after the first two weeks of the season.
Next up for Houston (2-0-0, 6 points) is their first road game of the year. The Dynamo will travel north of the border to face the Vancouver Whitecaps (1-0-1, 4 points) on March 29.
With the two week break, Houston will keep warm with a friendly against NASL side San Antonio Scorpions on Thursday at Houston Sports Park. They’ll also be a couple of familiar faces on the opposition’s side for the scrimmage. Former Dynamo homegrown midfielder Josue Soto is on trial with the Scorpions, while former Dynamo defender Julius James signed with the team ahead of the 2014 NASL season.