HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo made things simple regarding their CONCACAF Champions League fate with their 2-0 win over W Connection Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Houston cashed in on a riveting smash from rookie Jason Johnson and a second-half insurance header from Bobby Boswell to move to seven points in Group 1. With their final match opponent Árabe Unido currently on six points, the Dynamo only need a result when they travel to Panama Oct. 24 to book passage to the knockout stages.
The result of the game accomplished Houston’s basic intention, but the goal from Johnson gave it some flare in an otherwise quiet affair.
Johnson shook the game out of a slumber with a rocket of a goal off a gifted chance from the W Connection goalkeeper in the 40th minute. Alejandro Figueroa cleared a goal kick right to the Dynamo rookie 30 yards from goal. Johnson powered through the right side of the W Connection defense, into the box and unleashed an absolutely sterling strike to the far side netting to give Houston a 1-0 lead.
Boswell added an early second-half tally to distance Houston from the visitors. After Servando Carrasco had a point-blank shot saved, Boswell hit the near post on the ensuing corner to head a shot on goal. W Connection defender Joao Jordao’s arm was in the wrong place, as the ball deflected off him and in for the insurance goal.
Johnson’s goal was the highlight in a first half where Houston, while not impressive, did create chances. Warren Creavalle was just wide from 10 yards out in the 22nd minute, and Cam Weaver hit the crossbar off a Boswell flick 10 minutes later. Kofi Sarkodie, who was excellent getting up the right flank to create in the attack, got a taste of his own medicine when Jordao cleared Sarkodie's left-footed attempt off the line in the 34th minute.
W Connection, while without the ball for much of the game, did have an early attempt when captain Silvio Spann attempted to unlock the game from 28 yards out but was wide of goal.
After a lively start from Connection in the second half, Dynamo forward Omar Cummings, who was starting his second game this season and first since July 6, somehow missed the target from just seven yards out. However, Boswell’s goal soon followed to give the Dynamo a cushion.
Second-half substitute Jamal Clarence threatened Houston’s goal in the 61st minute after getting behind the defense, but the returning Tyler Deric was quick off his line to snuff out the chance. Carrasco took an attempt at the spectacular four minutes later with an ambitious crane kick, but Mekeil Williams was there to block the shot, as the Dynamo saw out a big win in the regional tournament.