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Dynamo strengthen hold on playoff spot with comeback win over Earthquakes




The Houston Dynamo changed their fortunes for the better in the span of a week, capping off seven days that began with a loss to Sporting Kansas City and progressed to a draw at Columbus, then ended with a 2-1 come-from-behind win over the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night at Robertson Stadium.

Late-game sub Will Bruin was the hero, scoring off a fine cross into the box from Luiz Camargo in the 79th minute to give the Dynamo the lead, and Houston made it stand. 

Bruin had entered the game only five minutes earlier. He replaced Calen Carr, who'd been playing well and making the Earthquakes defenders chase him all over the attacking area and getting in ahead of and behind those defenders. 

The Dynamo have 39 points in 30 games and are not only a solid third place in the wild card standings but only two points out of first place in the East. 

The Earthquakes needed three points to remain in position for a wild card spot but came away with none. At 29 points with six remaining regular-season matches left to play, San Jose is fast running out of chances to move up in the race.

The Quakes took a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute when defender Steven Beitashour delivered a good ball in for forward Khari Stephenson. The pass, Beitashour's fifth assist of the season, was right there for Stephenson to chip the ball past Tally Hall.

Stephenson made up for a missed chance in the eighth minute, in which he failed to beat Hall one-on-one after a pass from midfielder Simon Dawkins. 

Despite the Dynamo controlling most possession, San Jose had won or drawn eight of 10 times when scoring first this season. 

The second half spelled disaster for the Earthquakes. Defender Bobby Burling tripped the Dynamo's Brad Davis in the box in the 46th minute, and Davis beat Jon Busch on the PK to tie the score. It was Davis' fourth goal of the season.

San Jose had a chance to take another lead in the 71st minute when the Dynamo turned the ball over on a bad backward pass that defender Geoff Cameron could not control. Stephenson stole the ball and made a run but his shot was wide right.

Bruin scored the winner by getting ahead of defenders in the middle of the box and putting away his opportunity. He then went into a celebratory slide and performed a comical dance.


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