The Dynamo defeated their rivals FC Dallas 2-1 tonight in a spirited and entertaining affair at BBVA Compass Stadium. We saw some ugly goals, some pretty goals, a straight red card and some handbags...all the things would would expect from a derby match.
I doubt you could have scripted a better start for the Dynamo. Three minutes in Will Bruin drew rookie defender Matt Hedges out and dumped the ball off to Calen Carr before making a run in on goal. Carr made the pass and as defender Hernan Pertuz attempted to clear, he sent the ball right into the legs of a charging Bruin who directed the ball in to the net. Not the prettiest goal you'll ever see, but it counted and that's all that matters. It was the culmination of a nice start from Houston that saw them putting pressure on Dallas right from the kickoff.
From that point on it was basically all FC Dallas. As we're accustomed to with the Dynamo, they struggle to defend good team speed and Dallas has good team speed. Jackson was terrorizing Corey Ashe on the right wing while Fabian Castillo was blowing by everyone on the left side. For a solid 20 minutes, they were bossing the midfield. Things settled down a bit when Je-Vaughn Watson dropped deep, playing level with Adam Moffat to help add another layer of defense in the middle.
Brian Ching once again got himself in a great position late in the half, but was unable to head home the cross from Calen Carr. I can only imagine how frustrated the big forward is at not being able to get his scoring touch going this season. Still, the Dynamo finished the half playing much better than during the middle of the half...so that's a positive.
Calen Carr left the match right before halftime with an apparent hamstring injury, he was replaced by Colin Clark. More on that injury this week.
Second half started at a much slower pace that the first, but wasteful possession in the final third and a painfully obvious lack of speed led to a Dallas equalizer in the 59th minute. I'd describe it but f**k Dallas.
Minutes later, Jair Benitez clobbered Colin Clark in the fact off the ball and was shown a straight red by referee Jair Maruffo. There were some spirited handbags after the card but no other discipline was handed out. In case you forgot, Benitez is the guy who spit in Geoff Cameron's face during a preseason match last year. From that point, the Dynamo turned up the pressure on Dallas, generating several very good chances that Kevin Hartman managed to keep out of the goal.
Like a boiling pot, the pressure built and finally spilled over in the 76th minute. Brad Davis's corner kick was punched away by Hartman, but he crashed to the ground in the process. The ball trickled out to Adam Moffat who was waiting at the top of the box. Moffat took a touch, took aim and launched a missile in to the goal to put the Dynamo back in the lead 2-1.
Assuming we don't play Dallas in the playoffs, and that's highly unlikely, El Capitan will stay in Houston for another season. This is good, since cannons love Houston...everybody knows that.