HOUSTON – Will Bruin was once again the scoring star as his 40th minute goal plus a strong night from goalkeeper Tally Hall was enough in a 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact Saturday night.
Bruin continued his charmed start to the 2014 season, this time with some help from Montreal defender Eric Miller. Off a throw-in, Giles Barnes laid the ball off to his strike partner, and after settling it, Bruin's ball went off Miller’s foot and over goalkeeper Troy Perkins but under the crossbar for the 1-0 lead.
With the win Houston improve to 2-0-0 on the season while the Impact remain winless through two games.
Bruin’s goal came after a start that was very different from last week. Instead of flying out of the gates like they did in the season opener, Houston was more measured in the rain and it was the Impact that was active early.
Third-year forward Andrew Wenger had two good chances early to give the visitors a boost, but was bested both times by Hall, who made four saves on the night. The first was early when Hall made himself big to stuff a 1-on-1 chance that David Horst cleaned up. Then a minute before Bruin’s goal, he split Houston’s defenders, but Hall was again up to the task and with the help of Horst again stopped the forward. Wenger would later see Kofi Sarkodie clear his 64th minute shot off the line to add to his struggles on the night.
While the first half was not full of chances for Houston, Andrew Driver and Boniek Garcia each had chances to add to the goal total early.
Driver crashed the back post 10 minutes into the game but a sliding stop from goalkeeper Troy Perkins denied his effort. Garcia missed a clear look to make it two for the home team just minutes into the second half. After picking up a loose ball, Garcia worked his way towards the box but his left-footed effort curled wide.
As Houston tried to pick up the pace, Impact captain Patrice Bernier attempted to make his 2014 debut memorable, coming to within Hall’s fingertips of a goal on his 30-yard effort in the 53rd minute.
Montreal continued to pressure Houston after Bernier’s chance, keeping the ball in the Dynamo's half for long stretches.
The visitors forced Hall back into action in the 62nd minute when Hernan Bernardello forced a sliding save out of Hall. On the ensuing play Sarkodie, who won award for his double save off the line against D.C. United last year, came up big to keep Wenger’s attempt on Houston’s side of the line and snuff out yet another attack.
As Houston looked to hold on, Bruin came close to adding a second in the 72nd minute. After another knockdown from Barnes, Bruin laced a shot from just outside the box. Perkins was in the right place again to keep his team close in the losing effort.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Will Bruin||Not only did he score the winner once again, but his confidence sparked a performance with good link-up play and several chances|
|2||Kofi Sarkodie||Has become Houston's auxiliary goalkeeper, in saving another goal off the line, and also put in a strong two-way performance|
|3||Patrice Bernier||Showed why Montreal missed him in the opener, and had Di Vaio played, the midfielder's passes would have likely gone to better use|