Sebastian Kowalczyk's goal sends Dynamo past Minnesota United

Sebastian Kowalczyk scored his first career MLS goal in the 77th minute for the game-winner as the Houston Dynamo edged Minnesota United, 2-1, on Saturday night in Saint Paul, Minn.

Steve Clark finished with five saves for Houston (4-2-1, 13 points), which snapped a nine-match MLS winless vs. the Loons. Minnesota midfielder Alejandro Bran also scored an own goal for the Dynamo while trying to defend a first-half corner.

Franco Fragapane scored for Minnesota United (3-2-2, 11 points) which lost despite finishing with a 23-7 edge in shot attempts. Dayne St. Clair made one save for the Loons, who suffered their first home loss of the season (1-1-2).

Minnesota came within inches of taking a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute. Teemu Pukki's high press forced a turnover and Will Trapp picked up the loose ball and then booted a right-footed shot from the middle of the box that caromed off Clark's left arm and landed on the goal line where Dynamo defender Ethan Bartlow swept it away before it could cross the line.

Four minutes later, Houston took a 1-0 lead when Amine Bassi's corner hit Bran, who was closely defending Micael in the middle of the box, in the right thigh and bounced into the net.

Minnesota United turned up the offensive pressure at the start of the second half. Forward Jeong Sang-Bin had two excellent scoring chances in the first 16 minutes, sending a right-footed shot from the right side of the box just wide of the far post in the 54th minute and then drilling a right-footed shot from the edge of the six-yard box off the right post in the 61st minute.

The Loons finally broke through to tie it, 1-1, in the 70th minute when Robin Lod sent a crossing pass into the middle of the box where Fragapane put a right-footed shot into the left corner of the net.

But Houston regained the lead seven minutes later when Bassi stole the ball at midfield and fed Kowalczyk, who deked two Loon defenders before sending a right-footed shot from outside the top of the box into the top left corner of the net for what proved to be the game-winner.

Minnesota nearly tied it in the 80th minute but Tani Oluwaseyi's header in the middle of the box ricocheted off Clark's fingers and the crossbar. Clark came up with two more big saves on Fragapane in stoppage time to seal the win.

--Field Level Media