Brad Davis grabbed a late winner as Houston won the opening leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final 1-0 over Santos Laguna.
Playing at home, the MLS outfit knew the pressure was on them to get the result.
And the men in orange had the better of the early going, but Santos Laguna centre-back Felipe Baloy managed to get the upper hand in the aerial battle against Will Bruin.
The Mexican side nearly broke the deadlock with their best chance of the game in the 57th minute. A cross from Herculez Gomez dropped in the box for the unmarked Oribe Peralta, who probably should have scored, but his shot went right into the arms of Tally Hall.
Houston went close in the 75th minute, Ricardo Clark unable to turn on Kofi Sarkodie’s low cross into the box and hitting wide after good work by Bruin to play into the fullback’s overlapping run.
Baloy nearly saw red a few minutes after that. Unable to dispossess the darting Oscar Boniek Garcia, the big Panamanian defender stuck his studs high into the Honduran’s ankle.
Houston grabbed the game’s only goal just before stoppage time. Corey Ashe surged down the left flank, dishing inside to Davis.
The USA international gave a flick of his left foot and flashed a shot across Oswaldo Sanchez’s net and into the far corner.
The one-goal cushion preserves Houston’s undefeated record at BBVA Compass Stadium and could be vital if the Dynamo are to escape from the March 13 second leg with a berth in the semi-finals.