I saw a tweet where someone said Houston Dynamo were undefeated against San Jose since 2011, but with all of their struggles when playing away from BBVA Compass Stadium we all assumed it would take something special to change the fortunes of the men in orange. Unfortunately, that special wasn't exactly the good kind.
The match was mostly Houston Dynamo advantage with the majority of the best chances coming on the San Jose goal. Giles Barnes and Will Bruin had a very nifty pass exchange between each other around the 30th minute which led to a chance on goal that Jon Busch had to make an impressive diving save. Also of note was Servando Carrasco's service into the box on set pieces. He may very well be a Brad Davis replacement on set pieces if he can continue that service.
In the 37th minute, David Horst played a back pass to Tally Hall, and for some unknown reason Hall picked it up with his hands about 8 feet from the goal, but well within the box. The rules state if a back pass is from the feet and intentional, then a keeper even in his own box is not allowed to touch the ball with the his hands. Should he touch the ball with his hands, an indirect free kick is awarded at the spot of the foul. The referee did a great job with it, even if as a Houston Dynamo fan I hate the call. San Jose did well with the set piece, with Khari Stephenson shooting it with a deflection off a Houston Dynamo player and into the net.
Following the goal, the Dynamo with little time left in the half seemed to play a bit more aggressively, but couldn't really muster anything worthwhile. For the first minute or two following the goal, the team even seemed a bit shell shocked while struggling to keep San Jose at bay. They managed to contain the Earthquakes counter, though, and managed to keep it 1-0 at the half. At the half, I would say the Houston Dynamo midfield seemed to own the advantage over San Jose's, which is very surprising considering who was missing for the orange.
Even with being down a goal, the Dynamo stood a good chance in this match. They've held possession decently and managed some very quality chances on goal. Yet in the 57th minute the referee made quite possibly the worst penalty kick call the orange have suffered to date. That is saying something, but Lenhart goes down on a fifty-fifty shoulder to shoulder challenge in the box against Corey Ashe (yes, all five foot five of him) and the referee immediately awards a Penalty Kick.
Hall failed to stop the Penalty Kick by Khari Stephenson, and San Jose was up 2-0. You'd have to assume, that'd be the worst of it, but this was just not Tally Hall's night. In the 70th minute a ball was sent long by San Jose and Hall came extremely far off his line out of the box. Atiba Harris went up for the ball with Hall and managed to get there over Hall, sending it toward the goal and off the crossbar. No Dynamo players covered for Hall, and Harris had a very easy tap in to make it 3-0.
At this point, this match was over. O-V-E-R. It is frustrating when the team actually played well all things considered, but were once again undone by mental mistakes and horrible officiating. Some might point to a lack of finishing, but honestly, this game should've never been 1-0, let alone 3-0.
Once San Jose went up 2-0, they started the delay tactics. They slowed the game down tremendously and the Dynamo had no chance, really. It isn't their play style anymore, and they can't handle when teams play more aggressive physically. We've seen it time and time again. If we go down by two goals, this season particularly, the game is pretty well over.
Alex Lopez, AJ Cochran and Jason Johnson all got substitute minutes. Alex Lopez had an interchange with Giles Barnes that was very nice, but Busch once again managed the save on the shot. AJ Cochran didn't have too much to do, but he did look pretty solid. Jason Johnson had a moment or two, but nothing really good or impressive.
In the end, the Houston Dynamo fall to 5-7-2, while San Jose Earthquakes improved to 3-4-4 on the season. Up next for the Dynamo is Colorado Rapids on June 1st in Colorado. This has been an unkind road trip so far, with the Dynamo suffering 2-0 to DC United and now 3-0 to San Jose Earthquakes. Can they bounce back? Even this fan thinks that is a far stretch right now.