Robinson goal lifts Dynamo to win
Houston Dynamo are proving to have a flair for the dramatic.
A week after Ryan Cochrane scored the equalizer four minutes from full time in New England, Eddie Robinson headed in the game-winner in the 85th minute. His goal gave Dynamo a 2-1 victory against the struggling Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night at Robertson Stadium.
Dwayne De Rosario had given Dynamo a 21st-minute lead, but a goal from John Wolyniec pulled the Galaxy level in first-half stoppage time. It was also the first goal for the defending MLS Cup champion in 525 minutes, just 32 minutes short of the league record.
With the win, Houston moved 10 points clear of their one-time California rivals. It was the first meeting between the two sides since the club moved from San Jose. Last place Los Angeles, meanwhile, lost for the sixth consecutive time ahead of next weekend's second Súper Clásico with Chivas USA.
While Robertson scored the goal, the hero for Houston was Brad Davis. After missing a game with a left knee sprain, Davis was instrumental in Dynamo's fifth win of the year. He first helped set up De Rosario to put Houston in front and then played a perfect corner kick to Robinson at the near post five minutes from full time.
One minute after nearly setting up a goal on one of four Dynamo first-half corner kicks, Davis served a long ball that was flicked on by Alejandro Moreno, setting up De Rosario one-on-one with Galaxy defender Marcelo Saragosa.
The Canadian international turned Saragosa around and beat Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman from 10 yards out. Hartman appealed for a hand ball and television replays indicated that the ball did deflect off De Rosario's hand. But rookie MLS referee Steve DePiero didn't make a call and De Rosario had his fourth goal of the year.
Two minutes later Saragosa picked up a yellow card for taking down De Rosario by the corner flag. Hartman punched out a Davis service and a scramble in the box ensued before Herculez Gomez was able to clear.
In the 43rd minute, Kyle Martino found an unmarked Alan Gordon near the far post but he mistimed his header and missed the ball. John Wolyniec wouldn't miss though at the stroke of halftime. The Staten Island, N.Y., native split a pair of Houston defenders to head in Todd Dunivant's cross to level the game at 1-1 and end the Galaxy's scoreless streak.
The Galaxy nearly took the lead on the hour mark, but Gordon's downward header of Gomez's corner kick was wide of the far post. Two minutes later, as the game began to open up, Wolyniec found space and nearly dribbled his way into the box but the ball was knocked away.
In the 76th minute, Wolyniec set up Martino, but Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad saved the low shot from 22 yards out. Martino then attempted to return the favor, but both Wolyniec and Paulo Nagamura went for the ball.
Los Angeles was a bit lucky not to be reduced to 10 men when Ugo Ihemelu, the last defender, took down Moreno in the 79th minute. But instead Ihemelu picked up a yellow card and De Rosario's free kick deflected out for a corner kick. That was the first of a few down the stretch for the home side, finally converting on a powerful header from Robinson.
Houston heads to New York to face the Red Bulls next Saturday night while the reeling Galaxy face Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center.
Dylan Butler is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.