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Ching leads Dynamo past Union to East finals

Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching, left, tangles with Philadelphia Union defender Carlos Valdes, during the first half of an MLS soccer playoff game at Robertson Stadium, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011, in Houston. Valdes was issued a yellow card for fouling Ching on the play. Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching, left, tangles with Philadelphia Union defender Carlos Valdes, during the first half of an MLS soccer playoff game at Robertson Stadium, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011, in Houston. Valdes was issued a yellow card for fouling Ching on the play. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Melissa Phillip)
November 3, 2011

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HOUSTON—Brian Ching scored at the end of the first half, and the Houston Dynamo defeated the Philadelphia Union 1-0 Thursday night to advance to the MLS Eastern Conference finals.

Houston won the two-game series 3-1 on aggregate scoring after a 2-1 win Sunday at Philadelphia. The Dynamo play Sporting Kansas City on Sunday in Kansas City for the chance to move on to the MLS Cup for the first time since 2007 when they won their second of back-to-back titles.

Ching scored in first half stoppage time, taking a free kick by Brad Davis and heading it in from the penalty spot and into the upper right corner, just inside the far post.

Houston nearly scored in the 47th minute as Geoff Cameron weakly hit a shot from the penalty area to Philadelphia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon. Calen Carr had a chance in the 54th minute, getting behind the Union defense, but had his right-footed shot from 10 yards out in the middle was stopped by Mondrago with a kick save.

Philadelphia missed a chance to tie the score in the 59th minute as Veljko Paunovic's shot from outside the upper right box was saved by Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall. Off a corner kick in the 64th minute, Hall saved two shots by Paunovic from the far post.

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