HOUSTON -- The Houston Dynamo wanted to make amends after Wednesday’s 2-1 lifeless loss to the San Jose Earthquakes and Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake at BBVA Compass Stadium, which included 17 shots taken by the hosts, was a sign of that.
Dynamo captain Giles Barnes scored the game's lone goal, taking a long ball down and finishing confidently, to turn the page on the midweek loss.
“We, as a group, felt we didn’t perform well during the week,” said Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle after the game. “We felt it was an opportunity to get nine points in a week and we didn’t. Well, if we keep having performances like today’s then the points will come with it.”
The Dynamo stifled Salt Lake and didn’t allow them to get comfortable. RSL could only muster seven shots and none were on target. Coyle took notice of his team's urgency.
“We dominated the whole game...I think it was a complete performance,” said Coyle. “I would be saying the same thing if that game had finished 0-0. Because I was delighted with the application, the effort and the energy.”
The Dynamo will rue their missed opportunities on the day but it wasn’t for lack of trying. On two separate occasions, the Dynamo hit the crossbar.
“We could have easily scored four or five from very good chances,” said Coyle. “Our performance today was full of character, quality, full of real will and desire.”
Barnes would eventually render those missed chances moot, notching the winning goal in the 65th minute off a Joe Willis goal kick. Willis nabbed his first professional assist in the process.
Coyle praised Barnes’ work on the field, calling it outstanding.
Despite the victory and the performance, Coyle knows the work isn’t done for this team.
“We’re sitting here with 11 points but we know we should have at least 16, 17, or 18 points,” said Coyle. “We always want to improve...and get this franchise where we wanted it to be.”