It was a long time coming, but Brad Davis broke the deadlock and gave Houston the advantage against Santos Laguna in the CCL.The Houston Dynamo left it late, but ensured a vital, if thin, advantage heading into the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal tie against Santos Laguna. Midfielder Brad Davis grabbed a late winner for the MLS side, setting up a potential thriller on the return to Torreon.
Playing at home, the Dynamo knew the pressure was on them to get the result, and the men in orange had the better of the early going, but Santos Laguna center back Felipe Baloy managed to get the upper hand in the aerial battle against Will Bruin.
Santos nearly broke the deadlock with its best chance of the game in the 57th minute. A cross from Herculez Gomez dropped in the box for the unmarked Oribe Peralta, who probably should have scored, but this one-time shot was right into the arms of Tally Hall. Peralta himself looked agog at missing such a golden opportunity.
Houston went close in the 75th minute, Ricardo Clark unable to turn on Kofi Sarkodie's low cross into the box and hitting wide after good work by Will Bruin to play into the fullback's overlapping run.
Baloy nearly saw red a few minutes after that. Unable to dispossess the darting Oscar Boniek Garcia, the big Panamanian defender stuck his studs high into the Honduran's ankle.
Houston grabbed the game's only goal just before stoppage time. Corey Ashe surged down the left flank, dishing inside to Brad Davis. The U.S. international gave a flick of that left foot and flashed a shot across Oswaldo Sanchez's net and into the far corner.
The one-goal cushion preserves Houston's undefeated record at BBVA Compass Stadium and could be vital if the Dynamo are to escape from the March 13 second leg with a berth in the semifinals.