JOHANNESBURG (AP) – Andre Hainault, Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie each scored second-half goals to give the Houston Dynamo a 3-1 win over D.C. United on Sunday in the first leg of the Eastern Conference finals.
The Dynamo extended their home unbeaten streak to 30 games, dating to June 18, 2011, when they lost to Columbus. Houston is now just four wins or ties shy of matching Real Salt Lake's league-record 34-game home unbeaten streak.
Nick DeLeon scored for United in the 27th minute.
The win gives Houston a two-goal aggregate lead heading into next Sunday's decisive match at RFK Stadium in Washington. United will have to win that match by three goals to advance.
Trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Dynamo tied it in the 51st minute when Hainault one-timed a pass from Boniek Garcia high into the net. It was Hainault's first goal of these playoffs and third of his career.
Houston defender Bobby Boswell made the save of the match in the 66th when he stopped a point-blank shot by Lionard Pajoy on the goal line with Dynamo keeper Tally Hall out of position.
That set up Bruin's go-ahead goal one-minute later. Sarkodie scored his first MLS goal in the 80th to seal it for the Dynamo, who are in their fifth conference final in seven seasons.
DeLeon scored when he put a rebound past Hall. After Lionard Pajoy bounced a shot off the far post, the rebound came back to DeLeon, who fired a shot into the net off Hainault.
Backup goalkeeper Joe Willis made four saves for D.C., while Hall had two for Houston.