By Jamie Ives
Houston Dynamo kept on course for the playoffs with a solid defensive display on Wednesday night as they recorded a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew.
Their defiance was typified by goalkeeper Tally Hall, who was the man of the match as he kept his fourth clean sheet of the season with another stellar performance.
Houston struggled early on to gain a foothold and were somewhat overcome by the Crew’s dominance.
But the 6’4’ goalkeeper stood strong and produced save after save, keeping the Dynamo in the game.
Columbus went in at the break much the better side, controlling possession and creating numerous chances, and will feel disappointed that they couldn’t get the goal they desperately searched for.
The second half began very differently with the Dynamo coming out firing, and they were soon rewarded.
They broke the deadlock on the fifty-minute mark when Bradley Davis’s free kick was met by Dynamo striker Will Bruin, for his sixth goal of the season.
Columbus Crew will feel hard done by not to score but their strike force are struggling, with just three goals in their last six and they were no match for the in-form Hall.
(Tally Hall put in an inspired performance to help Houston to victory against Columbus on Wednesday)
The game seemed to lack energy for much of the second half, until a breakaway in the eighty-third-minute resulted in Justin Meram hitting the post for Columbus.
With the clock winding down and the Dynamo looking comfortable, the ball fell to Englishman Andrew Driver, who had a great chance to add another goal, but he could only find the hands Steve Clark in the Columbus goal.
Two wins on the bounce for Houston, who now sit third in the Eastern Conference but the performance of Hall stood out last night and calls will surely be made for a possible world cup place.
Though it would appear a longshot, with Premier League duo, Tim Howard and Brad Guzan both likely to feature before Hall.
Jurgen Klinsmann will name his 30-man USA squad for the World Cup on Monday.