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One Foot in the Final for Resilient Dynamo

Houston, on the other hand, executed its game plan perfectly against Pachuca, the other Mexican powerhouse in the CONCACAF Champions Cup semis-in the second half that is. As expected, the 2006 Copa Sudamericana champion was all over the Dynamo for the first 45 minutes at Robertson Stadium last night, dictating the play in almost every position, launching wave after wave of attack at the Houston goal.

The second half, however, was the quintessential example of the old maxim, 'soccer is a game of two halves.' Houston completely turned the tide against Pachuca, scoring twice through Brian Ching in the 57th minute and then substitute Chris Wondolowski in the 84th, to sew up a 2-0 first leg victory that leaves the 2006 MLS Champ feeling confident of moving on to the Champions Cup final. The return leg in Pachuca will be no easy task of course, but if the Dynamo wins, it would earn two special honors: the right to play in the next FIFA Club World Cup, and a berth in the Copa Sudamericana, South America's second-tier knockout equivalent to Europe's UEFA Cup.

"It was a great result for us against a good team," said an obviously satisfied Dominic Kinnear after the game. Goal scorer Brian Ching said it was the coach's team talk that helped the Dynamo lift its game. "At halftime Dom said, 'You guys are a good team (too); let's go after them.' And we did," said Ching. And they ended up winning comprehensively, too-in fact they probably should have scored more.

Read the whole story at Houston Chronicle »

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