TEENAGE HADEBE’S long-awaited break finally arrived when the Zimbabwe international defender tasted his first victory in the Major League Soccer.
It came two months after joining Houston Dynamo, after a switch from Turkey to the United States.
Hadebe had a fine evening, as he provided his first assist, in his eleventh appearance for the Dynamo, who thrashed fellow strugglers, Austin, 3-0 in the Texas Derby, on Saturday evening.
The Zimbabwean defender had a miserable start to life, in the MLS, after enduring a depressing run of six defeats, and four draws.
It took him 11 games, to celebrate victory, for the first time, in his American adventure.
The win also ended Houston Dynamo’s 16-game winless streak, in the MLS.
Their forward, Fafà Picault, bagged a brace while goalkeeper Michael Nelson notched his first career clean sheet.
Hadebe and his teammates restricted Austin to just two shots on goal, both of which Nelson saved, while the defenders blocked seven shots before they got to the target.
The win, crucially, ended the team’s longest barren spell, in their history.
Houston had last won a league match back in May and their coach, Tab Ramos, was a relieved man.
“I would have to say it’s a little bit of relief, more than anything else, because we can’t look past this game,” Ramos told The Houston Chronicle.
“Today was the game.
“We knew it was more than three points because it’s a rivalry game. We knew it would be more special for our fans.
“And, like I’ve said before, I’m really happy for the players because we work all week, (watch) video all week, and they continue to believe.
“With all the work they’ve done, we deserve to finally put it all together in one game.”
The first goal came in the very first minute of the game.
Forward Griffin Dorsey blasted the ball into the back of the net, after a shot from midfielder Darwin Quintero, was blocked.
Hadebe was involved, when they doubled their lead in the 24th minute, thanks to the hustle of Picault.
The forward ran on to a long ball from the Zimbabwean, and picked the pocket of an Austin defender, before curling the ball around the goalkeeper.
The assist is the first for Hadebe, since joining the MLS.
Picault struck once again, in the 64th minute, in a wild sequence that started when Nelson saved an Austin shot, and the rebound ricocheted off the post.
With the win, the Dynamo evened the season series, with their state rivals, and overtook them in the standings, in the Western Conference.
Prior to the match, Dynamo took part in a league wide remembrance, of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In addition to wearing a commemorative patch, the ceremony included a moment of silence, followed by the singing of the national anthem by a Houston-area FBI agent, of more than 30 years.
Dynamo will travel to Los Angeles, to take on the LA Galaxy, in their next contest.