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San Jose Earthquakes 1, Houston Dynamo 2 | 2016 MLS Match Recap

Nobody saw this one coming.

The last-place Houston Dynamo stunned the playoff-chasing San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium on Friday night, earning their first road win of the season via an early goal from Ricardo Clark and a thumping set-piece header from center back David Horst just after the break. 

The second half's opening minutes featured a wild sequence of events that will surely be talked about in the days ahead. Victor Bernardez clawed one back for the hosts with a smart finish just minutes after Horst's finish, and the Quakes were certain they'd scored another one in the interim. 

Backpedaling Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis blocked, then batted the ball away from his own goal line with some angles suggesting that it had crossed the entirety of the line first. But no goal was given and despite a furious late rally by San Jose, Dom Kinnear's side suffered an untimely loss -- just their second at Avaya to date this season -- to his former club. 

Box Score

Three Things

1. FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS: These are two of the more physical, committed teams in MLS, and it showed in a number of bruising challenges and contentious incidents, especially in front of the Dynamo goal. Willis felt he was fouled by Quincy Amarikwa as he went to collect a high ball on the play that led to Bernardez's goal (his protests earned him a booking), while San Jose made vociferous PK shouts in the 49th and 89th minutes. The MLS Disciplinary Committee may have a few items to chew on from this one.

2. WHEN I LEFT YOU, I WAS BUT THE LEARNER: Kinnear left a rich legacy in Houston, but it bit him on this night as his former player and pupil Wade Barrett dealt a blow to San Jose's playoff prospects. In a sense, the Dynamo out-Quaked the Quakes – they were opportunistic in attack, soaked up plenty of pressure and were tough to play against. 

3. BIG BAD JOE WILLIS: Houston's game plan hinged on sturdy goalkeeping and the towering Willis provided it. The Dynamo GK stood up well to San Jose's aerial bombardment and made four saves, including this highlight-reel robbery of Alberto Quintero:

Up Next

  • SJ: Wednesday, Aug. 24 vs. New England (10:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE)
  • HOU: Wednesday, Aug. 24 vs. Seattle (9 pm ET, MLS LIVE)
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