Houston advance to Eastern Conference Semi Final after they defeat eight men Montreal
Houston Dynamo 3 Montreal Impact 0 31 October
In a bizarre game played on Halloween the Houston Dynamo set up a meeting with the Supporters Shield winning New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semi Final after they saw off Montreal in the Knockout Round game. It took the hosts only 16 minutes for them to take the lead. Will Bruin sent a ball in the direction of Ricardo Clark and the ball eventually found him at the top of the penalty area after a miscue by Impact defender Matteo Ferrari, Clark certainly capitalised on the good fortune as provided a delightful back-heel back to Bruin who had continued his run into the area and after a great first touch got it under control and finished neatly past Troy Perkins in the Montreal goal. 11 minutes later and the hosts had doubled their advantage. Boniek Garcia dispossessed the visitors back-liner Hassoun Camara and after reaching the penalty box he was brought down by Hernán Bernardello who was racing back to help. The Honduran dusted himself down and converted the penalty emphatically. Montreal were struggling to create any clear scoring opportunities and the closest they got was just after the hour mark when Marco Di Vaio unleashed an effort from 30 yards after Houston midfielder Warren Creavalle had rushed a clearance that went straight to the attacker. Like any good goal-keeper though despite not having much work to do Tally Hall was up to the task as he produced a brilliantly diving save to keep the ball out and preserve his sides advantage. With 20 minutes remaining the Impact lost the first of the three players they would have dismissed. After picking up a first-half booking Nelson Rivas collected his second for an elbow on Bruin and that saw him gain first use of the showers. Houston immediately took advantage of the extra man as 2 minutes later they put the game to bed as they scored a third. Corey Ashe hit a ball over the top which Bruin got a touch to and he managed to outpace Ferrari to the ball, before taking a second touch to beat the advancing Perkins before dispatching it into the net from the top of the penalty box. The frustration for the visitors boiled over 1 minute from time as two more of their players were sent-off by referee Mark Geiger. Substitute Andrés Romero, who had replaced Andrea Pisanu 10 minutes after the interval kicked out at Houston defender Kofi Sarkodie and that resulted in a allocation between Di Vaio and Ashe. At the end of it all Ashe received a yellow, but Di Vaio, who had raised his hands the the Dynamo’s players face was shown a red along with Romero, as Houston advanced to the next round of the playoffs.
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