The Houston Dynamo finished off an unbeaten regular season at home with a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night. It is that stellar run at BBVA Compass Stadium that turned around their season, propelling them from Eastern Conference also-ran into a playoff contender and on Saturday, they finished off the turnaround. Their win, along with the Columbus Crew's loss, clinched them a spot in the postseason for the sixth time in seven years.
It took just five minutes for the Dynamo to go in front when Macoumba Kandji beat Carlos Valdes to a ball. He touched it past the Philadelphia defender and raced onto it, leaving him all alone on Zac MacMath. A simple finish later and Houston was in front.
That lead only lasted until the 19th minute, when Jack McInerney was able to ghost away from his marker. He tose up to meet a cross from Sheanon Williams and lofted it into the side netting to level the match.
The 1-1 scoreline lasted through the first half, but the Dynamo asserted their dominance after the break. They were all over the Union in the second half, pouring on the pressure and even hitting the bar once.
Oscar Boniek Garcia finally got Houston the goal they deserved in the 71st minute. He collected a pass from Brian Ching on the counterattack, put a ball on his right foot and fired for the near post. It was a shot MacMath should have done better with, but he exposed the near post and while he did get a hand to it, he couldn't keep Garcia's shot out as the Dynamo went in front.
The Dynamo then capped their win with one more tally in the 75th minute, although this one came from the spot. Valdes cleaned out Will Bruin in the box as he attempted to fire and the referee pointed for a penalty. Brad Davis buried the kick and the Dynamo were on their way to the playoffs.