Taking full advantage of a man advantage and two penalty kick goals, the Houston Dynamo extended their home unbeaten streak to eight by downing D.C. United, 4-0, on Sunday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The match turned in Houston’s favor in the 17th minute when Bill Hamid charged out to cut down a Mac Kandji sprint in the box. The D.C. custodian took his chances with a sliding challenge and looked to catch a piece of the winger’s foot, prompting referee Jasen Anno to immediately point to the spot and eventually show the goalkeeper a red card.
Dynamo talisman Brad Davis stepped up to rip the spot kick across goal beating a newly introduced Joe Willis – who guessed right – to make it 1-0 in the 19th minute and essentially end the contest.
It was an unfortunate turn of events for the Eastern Conference’s second-best team, who carried the first 15 minutes of play. Freshly minted MLS All-Star Chris Pontius led United’s early push, taking three shots, two on goal, in the first 10 minutes.
But once Houston took the advantage, they continued to pour on the attack, unleashing nine shots in the final 25 minutes of the first half. And they struck again just before halftime.
After Boniek García played Luiz Camargo to the end line, the Brazilian took a touch and slid a pass past a lunging Willis, leaving an easy tap in for the streaking Will Bruin, giving the striker 10 goals on the season and making him Houston’s first double-digit goalscorer since Brian Ching tallied 13 times in 2008.
The second half was kick-started in the 62nd minute when Davis set Andre Hainault up on the right to deliver a well-crafted cross to a waiting García, and the Designated Player headed home his first MLS goal.
But Houston weren’t done. Anno pointed to spot again in the 88th minute when Danny Cruz took down Calen Carr at the end line, and Ching stepped up to convert score the Dynamo’s second penalty goal of the night, making it two years in a row Houston have put up four goals on D.C. United.
With the loss, D.C. (10-6-3) stay on 33 points and, combined with Sporting Kansas City’s 2-0 win over Columbus on Saturday, in second place in the East heading into next Saturday’s match at the Crew.
Houston (7-5-4) improve to 28 points on the season, breaking a two-game scoreless streak while extending their shutout streak to three. With the win, the Dynamo remain in fifth, drawing to within three points of fourth-place Chicago. They’ll host SKC on Wednesday.
Lineups and boxscore (MLSsoccer.com)
Opta Chalkboard (MLSsoccer.com)