Houston (CBS Houston) – Christian Maidana’s goal off a free kick in additional time lifts the Dynamo to a 1-0 win over the Eastern Conference leading, Philadelphia Union.
Maidana was traded to the Dynamo, along with Andrew Wenger, during the off-season after two years in Philadelphia.
Aside from Maidana’s dramatic, game winning goal, the Dynamo secured their fifth shutout of the season. The clean sheet against Philadelphia is even more rewarding in the fact that the Union lead the MLS in goals scored this season.
Saturday marked Giles Barnes return into Wade Barrett’s starting eleven after missing time with the Jamaican men’s national team during Copa America, and due to Barnes dealing with a sore achilles.
It was clear early that the match was going to be a defensive slugfest with both teams battling through temperatures at game time in the 90’s. In both the first and second half the teams were given a cooling off period due to the hot Houston weather.
Andre Blake appeared to be on his way to a man of the match performance with brilliant saves throughout the game. Blake, a teammate of Barnes with Jamaica, saved six shots.
Will Bruin had two chances in particular on headers, but Blake saved both. Bruin was looking to score his 51st career MLS goal after hitting the 50-goal milestone last week at Portland.
With the heat both coaches went to their benches early. Mauro Manotas was the first sub of the night, checking in for Bruin in the 60th minute. Maidana was the second sub in the 69th minute for Alex. While Andrew Wenger, who didn’t start for the first time this season in MLS play, was the final sub for Barrett in the 84th minute.
Joshua Yaro picked up a second yellow card in the 87th minute that forced Philadelphia to play the final three minutes of regulation, and five minutes of additional time with 10 men.
Maidana took the free kick for the Dynamo from 19 yards out and had it blocked by the Union wall.
Four minutes into additional time Boniek Garcia got fouled just outside the top of the box. The foul setup Maidana for his second free kick in less than 10 minutes of game time, this time the free kick came from 23 yards out and Maidana buried it into the high corner of the far post for the game’s only goal.
With the victory the Dynamo snap a five game MLS winless streak that dates back to the May 14 win against Real Salt Lake, and is the first MLS win for interim head coach Wade Barrett.