BY DARRELL LOVELL
For the first time this season, the Houston Dynamo had little to do in the second half.
After banking two first-half goals the Dynamo were on cruise control most of the evening at BBVA Compass Stadium en route to a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.
Houston got on the board in the 17th minute when Will Bruin got onto the scoresheet for the first time this season, slotting home an easy finish from a Boniek Garcia cross. To quell any early thoughts of an uprising from the visitors, Giles Barnes headed home a sublime Brad Davis header in the 42nd minute. The two early goals were enough for the Dynamo to see through their third home victory in as many games.
“I thought we played well tonight,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “Especially in the first half, we came out and looked really sharp. In the second half, we kept pressing and pushing forward, trying to possess the ball in their half of the field.”
The victory pushed the Dynamo’s home unbeaten streak to 34 games in all competitions, tying Real Salt Lake’s mark set in 2011. While the game tied the mark, the Dynamo played down its importance.
“You don’t get anything for it,” Kinnear said. “You get a lot of points and get asked a lot of questions and a lot of satisfaction on a week-to-week basis, but in the end it goes down in a statistical record book.”
While the Dynamo do not take anything away from the streak, the way the game played out will add encouragement to an already confident squad.
Houston spoke about controlling Chris Wondolowski coming into the game and did just that. The San Jose striker was only dangerous a handful of times on a night that turned out to be frustrating. The closest he came to scoring was with his stoppage time header that clanged off the framework and ensuring the scoreless night.
His struggles were representative of his team’s, which managed just one shot on goal on the evening.
With Houston playing with so much of the ball, the Earthquakes missed the impact of target strikers Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon for most of the evening. Gordon did make his first appearance of the season but his impact was not enough to get the Earthquakes over the hump.
“I think we didn’t start well at all, conceded a very early goal which put us in our heels and then if we don’t concede the second one before half time we still have the chance to get back in the match,” Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop said. “We have a few guys out, no excuses, we still have to continue on, but I think that in our best and maybe competing a little bit better in this game it would have been closer, but it wasn’t to be tonight.”
Here are the match highlights: