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Head Coach Adrian Heath

On Houston’s final push at the end and the defense staying strong…

“Well, we played away from home so the initiative is always going to be with the home team. Obviously chasing the game they’re going to push extra men forward, which they’ve done. I said to the players at halftime, ‘There’s going to be huge spots in this game where you’re going to have to defend for your lives,’. I don’t think people realize how difficult it is to play with the humidity. Against a team, who I told the players before the game, these are better than their points tally and their position states. I wasn’t surprised. I knew it was going to be really, really tough. I thought, considering the amount of games we’ve had in the period of the last three or four weeks and gone away to win in LA and gone away to win in Vancouver, come here and won away maybe we’ll get a little bit of credit for what we’ve been doing over the last few weeks.”

On the way the group came together over the course of the game…

“We’ve got a really good group. There’s a real good camaraderie and togetherness within the group. It was a great run from Bongi [Bongokuhle Hlongwane] , beautifully timed run from Fraga [Franco Fragapane]. Then his quality came through and I’m so pleased for Bongi to get his goal because if ever a kid’s deserved a goal with the amount of work he does on both sides of the ball and if we can get him to consistently score goals from that position with the energy levels that he has to play then, as I said a few months ago when he arrived, we think there is a player there and we’ve got to give him time. I don’t think people realize what a culture shock it's been leaving Africa for the first time. We’re delighted for him and you could see with the response of the rest of the group how pleased for him they were.”

On the importance of Bongokuhle Hlongwane having an elevated role…

“He’s got a lot to learn still and he knows that. If he keeps working as hard as he does, keeps listening to what people are telling him, keeps running forward, keeps trying to get in the right spots, which he has been doing… If he can start bringing goals to his game in the manner that say Robin Lod does when he plays there then when you get in that between seven and twelve goals a season from a wide area then that would be huge for us moving forward.”

On an update about Emanuel Reynoso’s injury…

“He’s still a little bit swollen, but he’s walking without the aid of a boot at this moment in time. We’re hopeful for next weekend.”

Defender Michael Boxall

On Houston pushing to score at the end, and how the team remained resilient…

“I think we have such a committed group of players who are wanting to leave everything out there for each other. It’s not just the players on the field [who started] but even everyone who comes on is willing to work their butts off and ensure we get the result. I’m proud of my guys, I thought Nabi Kibunguchy was super solid tonight [in his first MLS start]. In a pretty tough place to play. And I’m super excited that Bongi [Bongokuhle Hlongwane] got his first goal. We’ve got a group of hardworking players who leave it all out there for each other.”

On players stepping up when they get their chance…

“Obviously a lot of our attack does rely on [Emanuel] Reynoso, because he’s such a magical player. When he is out injured or not on the field we’ve got players who are more than capable - as they showed tonight and as they showed against Everton. We’ve got players who are more than capable of stepping up and it shows the type of characters we have when they can go a month, two months without getting a sniff and then when they do they are more than ready and capable of coming to a difficult place to play and helping get us three points.”

On the big defensive performance at the end of the game…

“Kemar [Lawrence] got on the end of that cross and I think Dayne [St. Clair] just smothered that ball. Dayne has been voted into [the MLS All Star] game for a reason. He’s been big for us. But obviously Kemar, the way he gives his heart and soul every single night, he has been super solid ever since he came here. He’s a great guy in the locker room as well. He’s awesome to have on the team and I am glad we have him here.”

On Bongokuhle Hlongwane’s celebration…

“He’s just such a fun-loving character. From my time in South Africa, you can see that those guys have a lot of rhythm. If you’ve got some spare time you can see what the South African celebrations look like. I think I got there just a little bit late trying to get a bit more out of him so I could be a part of it. Obviously super stoked for him. He’s been bright the last few weeks and hopefully that pushes him on to keep improving.”