The Houston Dynamo faced off against the LA Galaxy for the 2nd time this year with the first meeting between the two teams resulting in a 1-1 draw thanks to an early Robbie Keane goal and a Nathan Sturgis equalizer. In this match the Dynamo looked to extend their winning streak to 3 games and lined up in the same formation that earned them a 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers with Will Bruin leading the way up top following his brace against Portland.
The LA Galaxy came out in control of the game in the opening minutes, but they couldn't connect the final pass and get through the Dynamo defense. The Dynamo would have a few early chances as well led by Will Bruin. Giles Barnes sent Bruin a long ball from the right wing, but Bruin's header went straight at the LA goalkeeper Jaime Penedo. Shortly after, Bruin found himself in a 1v1 opportunity with Penedo, but his touch on the ball was too strong which forced him to take his shot without much aim and the effort went right at Penedo who deflected it out for a corner kick.
The Galaxy weren't done with their chances as Tyler Deric was forced to punch a dangerous ball away in the 12th minute. Deric couldn't get much on it and the ball bounced around near the Dynamo 6 yard box, but Deric eventually wound up with it to keep the Dynamo from conceding a goal. Gyasi Zardes had a close moment as a poor header back by the Dynamo found its way to Zardes who was wide open and kept onside by a deflection. As Jermaine Taylor closed Zardes's space, the Galaxy Forward miss-hit his shot which went wide of Tyler Deric's goal.
Following a questionable corner kick awarded to the Galaxy, the Dynamo looked to have been in danger as a ball nearly had Tyler Deric beat, but Jermaine Taylor's reactionary header sent the effort upward and allowed Deric to safely gather the ball.
The Dynamo were once again in a tough spot as Raul Rodriguez brought down Jose Villarreal inches outside of the 18 yard box in the 43rd minute and the Spanish defender was shown a yellow card for the foul. The ensuing free kick effort was a short kick that found a wide open Mika Väyrynen, but his shot was deflected for a corner kick.
The two teams would head into halftime locked at 0-0. The LA Galaxy controlled the game's possession and momentum in the first half, but poor decision making and a strong (and sometimes lucky) Dynamo defense kept them off the scoreboard. The Dynamo had the better chances of the two sides thanks to Will Bruin's shots on target, but the team has sat very far back defensively which has limited their ability to create offense.
The 2nd half began much the way the first half had gone: lots of LA pressing leading to goal kicks and clearances by Houston. LA and Houston both brought on their goal scorers from the clubs' previous meeting early into the 2nd half in Sturgis and Keane. LA looked more organized and confident attacking, and the Dynamo looked organized defensively and possessed a little bit more of the ball.
In the 64th minute, DaMarcus Beasley put the ball back post to Will Bruin, but it was cleared for a Dynamo corner kick. The Galaxy would answer soon later in the 69th minute as David Horst and Raul Rodriguez combined to block a shot on Alan Gordon right in front of Tyler Deric.
As the game headed towards the final 15 minutes, the game began to open up for the Dynamo as they were able to find extended possessions inside the final third of the field. Accurate long passes, back heels, and chipping defenders, the Dynamo began to turn it on. The Dynamo thought they had one in the 88th minute as Giles Barnes found a streaking Ricardo Clark, but the effort went off Penedo for a Dynamo corner.
The Galaxy opened the scoring in stoppage time after David Horst blocked a brilliant Robbie Keane shot, but the ball soon found its way to Alan Gordon whose header went over Deric into the corner of the net. Moments later, Rob Lovejoy earned a corner that was nearly the final chance of the game for Houston. The corner kick was cleared and while David Horst retreated to earn the ball, he was brought down by Oscar Sorto who was shown a straight red card in the final minute of stoppage. Horst was fouled just inside the 18 yard box making the correct call a penalty, but referee Ismail Elfath placed the ball a good few feet from the edge of the box. The final free kick was headed wide and the Dynamo would fall to the Galaxy 1-0, but arguably should've earned a penalty kick in the final minute of the game.
The next game for Houston is their Charity Cup match against Manchester City on Thursday the 28th and their next league game is Saturday the 30th in Yankee Stadium to play the expansion club New York City FC.