"Psycho" Rajko Lekic made his MLS debut but found himself frustrated by lack of service as the New England Revolution fell to the Houston Dynamo 1-0 at Robertson Stadium tonight. Lekic went the full 90 but only mustered one shot, spending most of the match marooned without the ball.
Hunter Freeman secured the win for the Dynamo late in the match by scoring a controversial goal inside the six-yard box. The Revolution had one or two threatening moments but rarely gave Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall anything to do.
The Dynamo nearly took the lead at the outset of the match when Brad Davis unleashed a scorching shot from the edge of the area in the 4th minute. The ball was right at Matt Reis, however, and he managed to bat it down and then deflect away Cam Weaver's follow-up. Will Bruin looked to have a goal when the rebound fell to him, but A.J. Soares blocked his effort off the line.
Rajko Lekic got involved in the play in the 15th minute and created the next chance. Perovic released him down the right channel and he intelligently rolled a slow ball into the area for an onrushing Zack Schilawski. Unfortunately, the Dynamo defender tracking him did just enough to put the striker off and Schilawski was unable to get the shot off.
Will Bruin missed perhaps the best chance of the match in the 17th minute. Cam Weaver burst down the left side and out-foxed Kevin Alston before lofting an excellent far-post cross. Bruin came flying in, pulling away from his marker, but sent his header from about 5 yards out wide of the right post when it was probably easier to score.
The Dynamo started to take over from that point, enforcing their will upon the visiting side. Hunter Freeman flew down the right side in the 22nd minute and put in a good cross. Bobby Boswell bombed forward to get his forehead to the ball, but Matt Reis showed off his reflexes and made an excellent reaction save to keep the scores even.
Schilawski had an effort from the top of the area a minute later that went wide before Brad Davis nearly scored from a direct free kick just outside the box. Lekic nearly had his first goal in the 33rd minute after he was played into the box, but he was muscled off the ball by Andre Hainault and couldn't get his foot to it despite being right in front of Tally Hall and the goalmouth.
In the first half, the Revs had some difficulty maintaining possession and creating chances. In the second half, it wasn't difficult for them - it was impossible. Rajko Lekic and Marko Perovic disappeared from the match as it seemed like every Revolution touch was a clearance or an errant pass spacing out an extended spell of Dynamo possession.
Will Bruin fired the first shots in just the 47th minute. He strode into the left side of the area with purpose and uncorked a shot on goal that Reis was equal to and batted away. The Revs had their last real half-chance of the match next in the 51st when Perovic launched a free kick into the wall, but the rebound from his follow-up fell to Zak Boggs. Unfortunately, the second-year man was unable to get anything on the ball and just rolled it to the keeper.
The Dynamo appeared to have a goal in the 56th minute. A Brad Davis corner fell into the box and resulted in a scrum. The ball pinged around for a few seconds before it was backheeled to goal, but Zack Schilawski managed to clear it off the line. Replays showed it to be very, very close to going over but either way it wasn't given as a goal.
Boswell nearly had a goal in the 58th when his shot hit the corner of the goal frame from inside the area. Fifteen minutes later Bruin was played into the area and had a low shot saved by Reis. The ensuing corner was cleared only as far as Cameron, who chested the ball down and fired a half-volley wide.
The Dynamo breakthrough came off of a Brad Davis corner. In the 86th minute, Cameron rose highest to power a header on frame that thundered off the cross bar and straight into the air. Hunter Freeman bundled the ball home when it fell to Earth. Replays show that it was clearly put in by Freeman's hand, but referee Alex Prus gave the goal regardless and the Dynamo were able to ride out a 1-0 lead to a victory.