When push came to shove, the home team just wanted it more.
Such was the case Thursday night at Houston’s Robertson Stadium, as the Dynamo scored a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union to win their two-game, aggregate Eastern Conference semifinal MLS Cup playoff series.
The Dynamo advance to face Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference finals.
In a mostly sluggish first half, the Dynamo connected in the 48th minute when Brad Davis sent a sidewinding kick toward the middle of the field. The ball was re-directed off the head of Brian Ching and past Union keeper Faryd Mondragon in the back right corner of the net.
Needing two goals just to force overtime, the Union had no answers. The Dynamo clogged all passing lanes, controlled possession and essentially killed the clock for the final 45 minutes. Philadelphia finished with just four total shots on goal in the series finale.
The Union had been facing tough odds from the outset. The hometown club entered the postseason party as the youngest team in the MLS Cup playoffs. Meanwhile, Houston won back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007, while posting a 5-1 all-time record in home playoff games. Make that 6-1 after Thursday’s victory.