After Houston was thwarted on a penalty shot in the first half, Fafa Picault came through with the tiebreaking goal from the spot in the 76th minute, then added a late insurance goal, as the Houston Dynamo delivered a severe blow to the New England Revolution's playoff hopes with a 3-1 home victory on Tuesday night.
After New England's Carles Gil converted his own penalty chance to level the contest in the 63rd minute, Houston (9-16-6, 33 points) caught a break when the Revolution's Tommy McNamara was whistled for a hand ball in the box. In the 33rd minute, New England goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic (eight saves) guessed right for a diving stop on Sebastian Ferreira's penalty attempt, but on the Dynamo's second try, Picault delivered into the top left corner to break the 1-1 scoreline.
Picault then struck with a beauty high into the right corner in the 85th minute for Houston, which is already eliminated from playoff contention but won for the second time in four games -- and first in two matches under interim coach Kenny Bundy. The Dynamo also snapped an 0-6-1 series rut against New England (9-11-11, 38 points), which entered the night in eighth place, and just below the playoff line in the Eastern Conference, but lost for the fourth time in six matches and third consecutive on the road.
Houston was rewarded for a strong first half in the 37th minute, when Darwin Quintero slid in a perfectly placed goal-front ball from Corey Baird, who also assisted on Picault's second goal. The Dynamo recorded 21 total shots, 11 of which were on target.
Both teams had quality opportunities to score within the first 12 minutes of the match. The best of that duration came through the Revs' Wilfrid Kaptoum, whose point-blank attempt went well high of the net.
Houston appeared to record the game's first goal on 16 minutes, but Baird was flagged for being offside. In the 29th minute, Gil had a prime chance, but Dynamo keeper Steve Clark made a one-handed stop (four saves).
--Field Level Media