Bridgeview, IL – The Houston Dynamo may have won just three times in 17 away games during the regular season.
But on Wednesday in their Eastern Conference knockout round match against the Chicago Fire, Houston made Toyota Park feel very much like home as Will Bruin scored a pair of goals in a 2-1 Dynamo victory.
The result brings Chicago's season to an abrupt close while the Dynamo now moves on to face Sporting Kansas City in the conference semifinals, which will begin in Houston on Sunday.
The visitors defended well in the first half and took advantage of a 12th- minute corner kick to snatch the lead as Brad Davis swung the ball toward the near post where Bruin got free from his man to head the ball past goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
It took less than 30 seconds after halftime for the Dynamo to double their lead as Chicago lost possession in its own half, allowing Calen Carr to play Bruin in on goal with a well-weighted through ball that the striker dispatched past Johnson for his second goal of the contest.
The home side warmed to the task a bit over the final 30 minutes with Arne Friedrich and Dominic Oduro both testing Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall.
However, Chicago didn't find the breakthrough until the 83rd minute when Alex slipped in behind the Houston defense and scored from a tight angle after a nice ball from Patrick Nyarko.
Johnson kept the Fire within a goal by keeping out a close-range effort from Macoumba Kandji, but Houston did well to see out the remainder of the match and will now look ahead to a meeting with top-seeded Sporting.