It was their second consecutive shutout loss, after falling to Sporting Kansas City 2-0 Sunday afternoon, and extended their winless streak to six games, dating back to the end of March.
Both teams created chances in the opening 10 minutes with Bernardo Anor and Agustin Viana - who started in place of the suspended Wil Trapp - each having shot attempts for the Crew and Will Bruin's pressure and a Brad Davis free kick giving the Dynamo opportunities in front of goal.
Columbus had the best chance of the opening period from a set piece. In the 13th minute, Federico Higuain sent a corner kick into the box, finding the head of Josh Williams. The defender's wide open effort went just high, as he narrowly missed opening the scoring for the Black and Gold.
Higuain looked to create another Crew attack in the 21st minute, playing a ball off the outside of his right foot and finding Anor out wide. The lineman on the opposite side raised his flag for offside, but the replay showed the winger was onside and may have been in on goal.
The left side of Houston's midfield created problems for the Black and Gold, playing two dangerous balls centrally and catching defender Michael Parkhurst out of position on both occasions. Fortunately for Columbus, neither play led to a dangerous scoring attempt.
The Crew had another good opportunity off a corner kick in the 30th minute. A deflection in front forced Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall into a save. The rebound fell to Jairo Arrieta, but he was unable to convert from inside the six-yard box.
After a scoreless first half, Houston capitalized to start the second half.
The Black and Goal conceded a free kick out wide and Davis - who is always dangerous on restarts - found a wide open Bruin in the box. His header attempt, which looked to deflect off his shoulder, found the far side netting for a 1-0 Dynamo lead.
The Crew pushed numbers forward looking for an equalizer. Midfielder Daniel Paladini made his first appearance since joining Columbus in the offseason and Justin Meram replaced a potentially injured Dominic Oduro.
The Black and Gold created multiple chances, but were unable to convert in front of goal. 6'7" Adam Bedell entered the match in the 77th minute for Williams, looking to give the Crew more size and offense.
The best chance came when Higuain played a ball in behind for Meram down the sideline. Meram cut inside and looked to find an open Arrieta in the box, but his pass was deflected away for a corner.
After three minutes of stoppage time, the referee called an end to the proceedings, dropping Columbus to 3-3-3 on the season and fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
The Crew return home Saturday, looking to end their slide, as the Vancouver Whitecaps come to Columbus Crew Stadium.