LA Galaxy 1, Houston Dynamo 0 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
A determined performance led by Steven Gerrard gave the LA Galaxy a 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo at the StubHub Center on Friday.
LA extended their league unbeaten streak to five games, which includes three consecutive wins, while Houston continued their sputtering form on the road, despite matching up with the Galaxy on the night in the main statistical categories.
The hosts' goal came in the 66th minute, as Robbie Keane was on a breakaway, but his shot attempt was blocked by Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis. The block produced a rebound, and with Willis well off his line having come out to make the stop, Gerrard completed his support run into the box and slotted home the shot off the rebound into an open net.
It had initially appeared the Galaxy would take an early lead after David Horst was called for a handball penalty in the seventh minute. But Keane's attempt from the spot missed the goal entirely, sailing right of the target.
- TIGHTER GAME THAN EXPECTED: Looking back, the Dynamo seem a bit fortunate to have stuck around in the game all night. Considering Keane's missed PK and another gilt-edged chance in the first half that the Irish striker just could not reach, not to mention a goal chalked off in the 76th minute on a tight offside call, it seems the game probably should have been 2-0 or 3-0 in the end. But on a night in which Keane seemed to be a little off in his finishing, Gerrard's industry and skill helped ensure the full complement of points for the Galaxy.
- SIGNS OF LIFE: Despite the missed chances by LA, the Dynamo were in the match until the very end. Minus the defensive lapses on the goal conceded, they played well overall defensively on the road, and the volume of chances and shots they took turned out to be similar to the Galaxy's. The missing ingredient was the player or players capable of making sure a goal went in, carrying the team for a time on the attacking end, and right now, that looks like the biggest issue for the Dynamo to work through.
- STANDINGS WATCH: LA are creeping up the standings, now sitting in third place in the Western Conference and third overall in the Supporters' Shield standings, pending the outcomes of the rest of the weekend games in MLS. For Houston, the story in the standings is far less rosy, as they remain in last place in the West, and just a point ahead of the last-place teams in the league -- Chicago and Columbus -- who both play Saturday and can potentially leapfrog Houston.
- LA: U.S Open Cup: Wednesday, July 20 vs. Seattle (10:30 pm ET, YouTube)
- HOU: U.S. Open Cup: Wednesday, July 20 vs. Dallas (8:30 pm ET, YouTube)