By DAN KARELL
With the heat of the Houston sun on his back, Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis continued to do what he does best. Win soccer games.
Davis scored the game-winning goal and assisted on the opener as the Houston Dynamo defeated the Chicago Fire 2-1 on Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium, extending their home unbeaten streak to 35 games, a Major League Soccer record.
The last time the Dynamo lost a home match in all competitions was a 2-0 loss to the Columbus Crew on June 18, 2011. Since then, they’ve gone 24-8-0 at home between Robertson Stadium and BBVA Compass Stadium, which opened in the summer of 2012.
Will Bruin got the Dynamo on the board in the 26th minute when he scored on a header from six yards out. Davis on the left wing set it up, dribbling by Fire defender Wells Thompson before sending a perfect ball into the middle of the box that Bruin headed home.
The Fire had a near immediate response, when a Chris Rolfe fired in a curling effort in the 29th minute to tie the score. Fire playmaker Sherjill MacDonald chipped a ball towards midfielder Daniel Palidini at the top of the box. Palidini’s first touch went long, but Dynamo defender Corey Ashe was late to react, and Rolfe arrived quickest to the scene and buried the shot.
Following the substitutions of Paladini and MacDonald, their replacements Patrick Nyarko and Maicon Santos respectively, combined on a counter-attack in the 70th minute to nearly take the lead. The speedy Nyarko stormed forward down the right wing before passing back towards Santos. Santos’ only option was a back heel attempt on goal, which went wide. Rolfe arrived at the wide shot but had no angle to shoot at and out the ball out for a goal kick.
The match-winner arrived in the 81st minute courtesy of the Dynamo captain Davis. A floated ball in from the right evaded everyone and carried into the net on one bounce. Bobby Boswell of the Dynamo was up in the box and jumped for the header but didn’t make contact before the ball ended up in Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson’s net.
Both teams had opportunities in the final minutes of play to change the scoreline. Fire midfielder Jeff Larentowitz struck a header from a corner kick that hit the crossbar int he 84th minute, cannoning back off the frame of the goal and away from Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall.
At the other end, in the third minute of injury time, Dynamo forward Cam Weaver had an opportunity to put the match away, but his breakaway chance on goal was shot high and wide of the target.
With the victory, the Dynamo improve to a perfect 4-0 at home, while their road record sits at 0-3.
Here are the match highlights: