[MLS] The Galaxy tacked on another three points to its league-leading total by beating Houston, 1-0, at Home Depot Center Wednesday with a Landon Donovan penalty kick in first-half stoppage time.
Donovan a converted the kick awarded when Dynamo midfielder Lovel Palmer used his right arm to bat down a ball driven by Chris Birchall across the goalmouth. A few minutes earlier, Palmer had blocked a Chad Barrett shot with his shoulder, but this time the ball clearly struck his outstretched arm and referee Chris Penso immediately pointed to the spot.
Keeper Tally Hall guessed to his right and Donovan rolled the ball to the other side for a league-leading eighth goal of the season. Houston managed just one shot on goal, and none of the forwards used by Coach Dominic Kinnear – starters Sergio Koke and Will Bruin, or sub Cam Weaver – was credited with a shot. Holding midfielder Palmer led the Dynamo with three shots, a number matched by Galaxy counterpart Birchall.
The Dynamo won six corner kicks but was unable to generate a shot on frame. All of the corners were taken by midfielder Brad Davis, who struggled to create chances during the run of play before being replaced by Je-Vaughn Watson with 30 minutes remaining. In the final minutes, Dynamo midfielder Geoff Cameron got a rare look at goal but his first-time shot from distance skipped a yard wide of the post.
The victory ratcheted up the Galaxy’s league-best record to 7-2-5 heading into a game against New England (3-4-4) Saturday at Gillette Stadium that will mark Donovan’s last MLS appearance prior to the Gold Cup. Houston (3-4-5) lost its third game in the last six and returns home to play FC Dallas (6-3-3) Saturday.