D.C. United’s horrific history in Houston just got even more outrageous. Houston Dynamo the games only goal in stoppage time thanks mostly to a pair of defensive blunders by D.C. United to secure their first win since early May and to extend their ridiculous ruin of United in Houston to 11 wins and a draw in 12 lifetime matches.
Taylor Kemp’s decision to head back toward goal instead of a routine up field clearance set of a sequence of events that ultimately ended up being the game-winning goal from none other than United-killer Will Bruin. Bruin has now scored 10 goals in 9 career matches against United.
The loss ended United’s four-game winning streak and three-game streak on the road. United didn’t lose much ground however as Sporting Kansas City could only manage a 1-1 draw at home on Friday night against the Philadelphia Union.
United though were second-best to the home side all night long being dominated in corner kicks, shots and shots on goal. United managed to carve out a few half-chances but it was the Dynamo that were pushing forward most of the night.
Bruin had two golden opportunities in the first half to put Houston in front but his two headers didn’t connect. Giles Barnes had the best chance of the night when a turnover at midfield fueled a 3-on-2 counter attack but his angled shot was kick-saved by Bill Hamid, again in fine form.
The domination continued into the second half but the chances were becoming fewer and further between for the Dynamo and it looked like United were all set to take only their second point ever from city of Houston.
But in the 91st minute that all went out the window.
Taylor Kemp, staring for the injured Chris Korb, had a bead on a long ball and inexplicably tried to play it backwards and centrally to Steve Birnbaum. The pass caught the rookie off guard but he got back in time to shield off Bruin from the loose ball. However, as Birnbaum was tracking back, Hamid was coming off his line and he hesitated in the middle of penalty area to see what Birnbaum would do. That hesitation cost United as he inadvertently tripped Birnbaum and the loose ball spilled gratefully to Brian Ownby who centered to Bruin in front of the empty net.
United tried to muster and attack at the end but the mistake was too much to overcome. One would have to think that even the 96′-99′ United teams couldn’t manage to win a game in Houston. The season was as good a chance since Houston came into MLS in 2006 for United to get a win but the song remains the same in Houston.