Houston Dynamo edge out LA Galaxy 1-0
HOUSTON,TEXAS (BDCi) — The LA Galaxy gave Giles Barnes a clear chance to take the lead in their tight encounter and he made no mistakes to give the Houston Dynamo a 1-0 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday.
In a close game, the normally sure-handed LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo gave Houston an inch and they took a mile and goal for good measure. The Panamanian misplayed a Dan Gargan throw-in and rookie Mark Sherrod was quick to take possession and find Barnes in the 61st minute. Barnes then hit a skillful shot using the inside of his right foot to go to the far post and give Houston a 1-0 lead that they would never relinquish in front of a sellout crowd of 22,223.
Both teams managed World Cup absences in the match, as Houston’s Brad Davis and the Galaxy pair of Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez were away to partake in the US national team’s pre-tournament camp in Stanford, California.
The first half was of the cross-conference match was lively and it came inches away from starting in disaster for Houston. Nineteen seconds into the game, Samuel muscled past David Horst before hitting a shot that curled wide right.
After the early scare, things settled down and neither team was able to put their mark on the game. Both teams worked toward sustained build-ups but were relegated to shots mostly from distance.
Houston’s best chance of the half came off a half-volley from Barnes off a Kofi Sarkodie cross. The Englishman found space just outside the six-yard box, but his shot was handled by a diving Penedo save.
After two Juninho long range attempts, AJ DeLaGarza provided the Galaxy with their best chance. Robbie Keane played a ball to DeLaGarza, whose ensuing shot beat Tall Hall but was cleared off the goal line by Horst.
Andrew Driver came close to finding the opener too. Omar Cummings whipped in a ball from the right flank that found an open Driver at the far post in the 58th minute, but the shot that followed could not find the net.
Three minutes later, Barnes clinched the three points for the Dynamo with a well-taken effort off a defensive mistake from the Galaxy.
With the win, Houston (5-5-2) improves to 17 points, which is currently good for second place in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile the LA Galaxy (2-3-4) remain at 9 points and their current winless streak runs to four games.
Both clubs will have short turnarounds before they return to action. The LA Galaxy will host FC Dallas on Wednesday and Houston travels to face D.C. United on the same day.