The Philadelphia Union are out of the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs, while the Houston Dynamo are headed to the Eastern Conference Finals. Thanks to their 1-0 win on Thursday night, which gave them a 3-1 aggregate win in the series, the Dynamo will advance to play Sporting Kansas City away at Livestrong Sporting Park.
Thursday night's only goal came from the most predictable manner possible. The Union's big central defenders should be able to nullify a team's threat on set pieces, but they had no answer for Brad Davis and Brian Ching, perhaps the best set piece combination in MLS. In the second minute of stoppage time, Davis delivered an out-swinging free kick with his left foot from the left side of the pitch, and an unmarked Ching went up to get the ball, heading it past Faryd Mondragon.
The game was a physical one throughout, with the Dynamo working to protect the lead they acquired over the weekend at PPL Park. Though they selected an incredibly attacking lineup, the Union struggled to create chances and the Dynamo's clean sheet never looked like it was going to be dirtied.
For more news and analysis, be sure to visit our Philadelphia Union blog the Brotherly Game and our Houston Dynamo blog Dynamo Theory. For more on the entire world of soccer and the rest of the MLS Cup Playoffs, check out SB Nation Soccer.