Minnesota United hadn't won an MLS home game all season and Houston hadn't won a game on the road when the two teams met at Allianz Field on Wednesday night.

The Dynamo still haven't, not after their 1-0 loss there.

"Well, it has been a long time coming," Loons coach Adrian Heath said.

Loons forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane's goal in the 14th minute stood as the winner on a night when his team had at least four other prime scoring chances — and a second insurance goal with any one of them — snatched away by Houston goalkeeper Steve Clark.

The Dynamo now are 0-4-1 on the road this season while the Loons are 1-1-3 at home. The Loons' only home victory this season was last week's U.S. Open Cup victory over Philadelphia Union in penalty kicks. The win also ended the Loons' winless streak, which had been at 0-5-1.

The two teams meet again in only six days, in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal game Tuesday in Houston.

This time, the Loons held fast to that 1-0 lead and didn't surrender heart-breaking late goals like they had to Vancouver, Orlando City and Philadelphia Union earlier this season.

This time, they surrendered nothing but unsuccessful set pieces – corner kicks and free kicks both – and went home winners after defender Kemar Lawrence in particular saved the night well away from goalline by blocking Houston second-half sub Thor Ulfarsson's shot at an open goal.

"It would have been a travesty if we hadn't won the game, with the clear-cut opportunities we created," Heath said.

Both teams had 12 shots and the Loons had just one more in shots on target, at 5-4.

But the Loons had far the better quality chances, were it not for Clark's night work.

"Keeper had an unbelievable night for them, made two or three fantastic saves," Heath said. "Obviously, 1-nil you're never comfortable, especially later on when you know they've got really good quality in the box and they've got some good size. So it was pleasing and satisfying to see it through."

Loons midfielder Hassani Dotson said the game easily could have — or perhaps should have — been 4-0 or 5-0.

"I think some of these games happen during a season, especially such a critical one, and we've had a couple of games like that so far this year," he said. "The biggest thing is making sure that we got the result. We won the game that we thought we needed to win."

After Hlongwane's early goal, Clark kept Houston close when he made two saves in succession late in the first half. Included was a remarkable reaching hand save on Hlongwane's rebound shot from short range in the 41st minute.

Clark did so again in the 44th minute when he punched away Luis Amarilla's header out of the air near the right post.

Not long after halftime, Clark stopped Loons attacker Franco Fragapane with a left-footed strike aimed at his shoulder.

"The saves were outstanding, Heath said.

The Loons' two-time All-Star Emanuel Reynoso's MLS suspension was lifted on Tuesday, allowing him to return to team participation fully. He watched Wednesday's game with the team's chief soccer officer Manny Lagos and isn't expected to resume training with teammates until next Thursday, as the Loons return from games in Portland Saturday and U.S. Open Cup in Houston on Tuesday.

Still without Reynoso, Heath went back to his favored 4-3-2-1 formation that put striker Amarilla up top with Franco Fragapane, Robin Lod and Hlongwane behind him and central midfielders Wil Trapp and Hassani Dotson behind them. That put recently acquired Sang Bin Jeong, usual starter Kervin Arriaga and Mender García among the designated substitutes knowing the team has four more games to play still in May.

By late in the game, Heath had switched the formation to a 4-5-1.

"I thought let's get back to what we know we do well and put people in the places where they know they can play," Heath said. "I thought we played some good football this evening."