There is a 'Let them play' line of thought in sports, and then there is what happened on the field today. There is a point where it goes past being a game and becomes dangerous. When two teams dislike each other as much as these two do, you can't let things get out of hand - and that is exactly what was about to happen the entire game. The referees swallowed their whistles, and we were treated to one seriously ugly game of soccer.
Houston looked to get on the board early in the first ten minutes, but Kofi Sarkodie was whistled offside by what appeared to be only a sporks tine difference in space. However, upon further review, it would appear that Sarkodie did keep his body behind defender Matt Besler, leaving the Dynamo robbed of what may prove to be a crucial goal.
Then in the 23rd minute, Rico Clark collided with Benny Feilhaber and injured his knee. After going off the field, he returned a minute later only to go down at midfield shortly thereafter. He eventually limped off and Andrew Driver came on in his place, with the official word being a leg injury to Clark. The team moved into a 4-3-3 to compensate for the change in game plan.
Neither team showed a strong advantage in the first half, although the Dynamo lead in possession and passing.
In a surprising move, Houston made a half time substitution: putting in Cam Weaver for Will Bruin. Weaver was able to provide a push that the team needed, and the Dynamo were able to get the ball up the field more. But as the game wore on, fatigue became obvious - both teams had played 120 minutes just three days earlier. Players were going down all over the field. They started to play tired ball, which is a less than pretty was to play the game. And the seven minutes of added time? Brutal.
If you are trying to find highlights of the match,don't. This music video sums it up much better:
Both these teams need the two weeks off before the second leg of this match up, because no one wants a repeat of this match.