Canadian defender Hainault scores important goal for Houston By Steven Sandor Posted on October 15, 2011 0 0 316 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Andrew Hainault Andrew HainaultAndrew Hainault got the rest he needed — and it paid off. The Canadian defender got the opening goal as his Houston Dynamo beat the Portland Timbers 2-0 Friday in a match that had major implications on the MLS playoff race. Hainault raised the eyebrows of some Canadian fans (and the tempers of others) when he revealed earlier this week that he’d actually turned down national coach Stephen Hart’s invitation to play for the national team. Canada thumped St. Lucia 7-0 on Friday but struggled to draw Puerto Rico 0-0 on Tuesday. Still, Canada has its qualifying group well in hand and will clinch a spot in the next round with just one more point out of two remaining matches with St. Kitts and Nevis. With Canada facing low-ranked opposition, Hainault used the time to rest for Houston’s do-or-die match, as the Dynamo needed three points to solidify its hold on a playoff spot. Against the run of play, Hainault got up into the Portland penalty area, and his glancing header off a free kick gave the Dynamo a 1-0 lead on the road. A goal and a clean sheet. Sounds like Hainault got what he wanted. Houston moves into second in the Eastern Conference with the win; but, to show how tight the race is in the East, it is just three points ahead of the New York Red Bulls, who hold down the final playoff spot. And, the Dynamo has just one game left on the schedule, so a result in Portland was necessary. As for the World Cup qualifiers, Canada’s problem wasn’t defence; it allowed no goals and very few goal-scoring opportunities in the two matches. So, it’s safe to say that Hainault’s absence in no way sabotaged the team. Dwayne De Rosario played on Tuesday for Canada, and didn’t play for D.C. United on Wednesday in Vancouver. His MLS side missed the league’s co-goal-scoring leader, as it stumbled to a 2-1 loss.