With only pride on the line, the Houston Dynamo showed just that at D.C. United on Saturday night. They scored three unanswered second-half goals and downed the hosts 3-1 in a battle of the two last-place teams in the league.
WATCH: Full match highlights
For Houston, the victory was only their second win in the last four months in MLS play. It came without defender Bobby Boswell, who was suspended due to yellow-card accumulation, and despite the team playing its third game in seven days.
“It was a great win overall,” said midfielder Geoff Cameron. “It was a hard-fought game, and everybody put the effort in.”
Houston have seen luck go against them repeatedly this year. Against DC, though, they caught a break on their opening goal, as midfielder Brad Davis mishit a cross with a wide open net from about six yards out. Davis’ shot went across the face of the goal before deflecting in off a United defender, giving the Dynamo the little nudge they needed.
“The first goal was very lucky,” admitted head coach Dominic Kinnear. “It was the lift that we needed, and then we continued to move forward, which was nice to see.”
While the Dynamo players readily admit that they didn’t play their best game for the full 90 minutes, they continue to battle for each other despite their elimination from postseason play.
“I think our legs started giving out a little bit in the last 20 minutes or so of the first half [because] three games in seven days is pretty tough,” said Cameron. “We came in and regrouped and got a decent break at halftime and just said, ‘We gotta work for one another, we gotta fight for one another.’”
That fight paid off. After losing two consecutive games via second-half comebacks, Houston pulled one of their own, scoring three unanswered second-half goals. The team also held on to a second-half lead for the first time this month.
With the victory, Houston now move out of the cellar in the Western Conference and into a three-way tie for 12th place overall. They have a chance to climb even higher in the table next week as they face the team sitting in 11th in the standings as they travel to Philadelphia on Oct. 2.
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.