Chivas Break Houston Hex; First USOC Semis
Justin Braun scored a brace and Chivas USA got their first-ever win at Robertson Stadium on Tuesday as the Goats beat the Dynamo 3-1, reaching the semifinals of the US Open Cup for the first time in club history.
Chivas USA, meanwhile, started only eight players who played against Philadelphia last weekend. And the difference in the crispness of passing and composure on the ball was apparent early between the two sides.
After failing to win in their last 11 matches against Houston and never before winning at Robertson Stadium, Chivas USA were intent on bucking both trends. And the Dynamo failed to match the Goats’ intensity early.
In the fifth minute, a Ryan Cochrane foul set up a Chivas set piece about 40 yards from goal. Mariano Trujillo sent in a great ball into the box, and Adrian Serioux lost Braun, whose header gave Chivas USA a 1-0 lead and their second-ever lead at Robertson.
But Chivas USA extended their lead in the 65th minute after Houston’s Joseph Ngwenya missed a chance to equalize. Ante Jazic’s beautiful pass split the Dynamo defense and found Michael Lahoud, who moved in on goal and finished the effort easily to give Chivas a 2-0 lead.
Houston got one back late as Ngwenya ripped an effort off teammate Oduro in the 86th minute. The Ghanaian tried to get out of the way, but the ball deflected off him and past Thornton to pull the Dynamo back within one.
But Houston’s celebrations were short-lived, as Braun split two defenders in the 90th minute and scored his second of the evening, ending Houston’s hopes of a comeback.
Chivas USA move on to the semis and will take on the winner between Wednesday’s quarterfinal between the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders. The Goats are in the midst of their best-ever run in the tournament.
Houston return to MLS play against Columbus on Saturday.
CHV -- Justin Braun (Mariano Trujillo) 5
CHV -- Michael Lahoud (Ante Jazic) 65
HOU -- Dominic Oduro (Joseph Ngwenya) 86
CHV -- Justin Braun (unassisted) 90
HOU -- Eddie Robinson (caution; Reckless Tackle) 54
CHV -- Jesus Padilla (caution; Reckless Foul) 68
HOU -- Craig Waibel (caution; Reckless Foul) 93+
HOU -- Danny Cruz (caution; Dissent) 93+
CHV -- Gerson Mayen (caution; Reckless Foul) 93+
Chivas USA -- Zach Thornton, Mariano Trujillo, Michael Umana, Yamith Cuesta, Ante Jazic (Carlos Borja 66), Michael Lahoud, Marcelo Saragosa, Ben Zemanski, Blair Gavin (Dario Delgado 72), Jesus Padilla (Gerson Mayen 77), Justin Braun.
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Craig Waibel, Eddie Robinson, Ryan Cochrane (Mike Chabala 35), Francisco Navas Cobo, Adrian Serioux, Richard Mulrooney (Lovel Palmer 74), Joseph Ngwenya, Sammy Appiah (Danny Cruz 56), Dominic Oduro, Cam Weaver.
Referee: Daniel Fitzgerald
Referee's Assistants: Courtney Jackson; Arthur Odems
4th official: Ismail Elfath
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 87 degrees