The Houston Dynamo hoped to ride the momentum of their win last week over rivals Sporting Kansas City and take it to San Jose and their old manager Dominic Kinnear. The Dynamo largely utilized a similar lineup however Head Coach Owen Coyle put in Will Bruin over Erick Torres in order to supply a more physical matchup against Earthquake center back Victor Bernardez. DaMarcus Beasley was also out with an injury which allowed for Abdoulie Mansally to slot into the left back position.
Trouble began early for the Dynamo as Mansally left Wondolowski open to cross in a pass to Alberto Quintero who took advantage of an unorganized backline in order to put the home team up 1-0 in the 3rd minute. Just before the 10th minute the Dynamo nearly conceded a 2nd goal as a very poor back pass by Giles Barnes saw Chris Wondolowski 1v1 on goal with Tyler Deric. David Horst was able to track back and pressure the Earthquake forward into changing directions which saw Deric pounce on the loose ball ending the dangerous play.
The Dynamo were largely penned in their own half for the first 15 minutes of the match as defensive communication issues gifted the Earthquakes opportunities, but they weren't able to connect on some of the chances and the back four of the Dynamo were able to eventually clear the ball to safety. Chances for Houston were few and far between, but mostly came from set pieces as players were fouled in some dangerous areas and the forwards were able to earn corners, but there was no equalizer within the first 20 minutes.
Shortly after a yellow card was awarded to Alex Lima for a poor challenge in the 21st minute, the Dynamo had a huge chance to level the game as Will Bruin made a great run down the left side of the field and crossed the ball to Andrew Wenger, but the ball was slightly behind and Wenger failed to convert directly in front of goal.
The Earthquake faithful cried for a penalty kick as opening goal scorer Alberto Quintero was brought down, but referee Jaime Herrera saw it as a clean tackle and Quintero quickly rose to his feet to rejoin the play after writhing around on the ground.
Ricardo Clark would lead the Dynamo to an equalizer just before halftime. Cristian Maidana sent in a quick free kick to Jalil Anibaba who floated a cross into the box. The Dynamo were unable to beat ‘Quake goalkeeper David Bingham, but his punched clearance found a streaking Clark who one-timed a thunderous strike to put the clubs level.
The teams would go into the locker rooms even at 1 to end the first half. San Jose dominated an unorganized back line, but were only able to capitalize on one of Houston's mistakes. Houston on the other hand had few chances, but a little bit of trickery on a quick free kick and an excellent run by Clark helped them gather themselves and regroup moving into the second half.
The Earthquakes came out looking to find the goal quickly as Simon Dawkins floated in a pass across the mouth of goal from inside the 18 yard box to former Dynamo player Kofi Sarkodie, but Tyler Deric was quick to close down and stop the play. Minutes later, brilliant passing by Matias Perez Garcia and Alberto Quintero picked apart the Dynamo defense and found Anibal Godoy who calmly beat Deric to put the Earthquakes up 2-1.
Owen Coyle would make a triple substitution in the 58th minute as Cristian Maidana, Andrew Wenger, and Will Bruin would make way for Oscar Boniek Garcia, Leonel Miranda, and Erick Torres. The subs would immediately come on and help create a very close chance for the Dynamo.
Another defensive error would lead to a San Jose goal. Alex Lima was seemingly fouled, but the referee thought he went down too easy (he did). The pass went in towards Chris Wondolowski, but was cut out by David Horst who went down to the ground. After chaos and jostling for the ball, Alberto Quintero would find his 2nd and San Jose's 3rd goal in the 70th minute.
Earthquake defender Marvell Wynne would see a yellow card in the 73rd minute for a horrible challenge against Abdoulie Mansally. The two had a few physical battles in the first half and the challenge looked deliberate as Wynne stomped on the leg of Mansally and could easily have seen a red card.
In the 79th minute Tyler Deric was sent off for being the last man to challenge Simon Dawkins. Agus was in position to clear the ball, but Deric indicated he wanted to boot the ball. The red card sent Anibaba into the goal as the Dynamo had no more substitutes left to bring Joe Willis in.
Newly minted goalkeeper Jalil Anibaba had a handful of saves including an excellent cross that he grabbed and a brilliant 1v1 save. The saves provided some entertainment to fans in an overall hectic game for the Dynamo.
Late in the game the Dynamo appeared to rally as their chances increased while the time ticked on despite being down a man. Cubo Torres was about a foot off from helping the Dynamo score their 2nd goal of the game as he took a ball across his body and struck an excellent shot. Agus had a chance on goal in the last minute of stoppage as his header was just wide of the post.
Houston would fall to San Jose 3-1 in one of their worst performances of the season (this or the LA Galaxy game - take your pick). The team's defensive struggles early in the 2nd half put San Jose out of reach while Tyler Deric's red card made their uphill climb un-climbable. There were a few silver linings in the match, particularly Ricardo Clark's performance. Clark covered nearly every blade of grass at Avaya Stadium and contributed to blocked shots on the defensive end and a goal on the other. Jalil Anibaba's surprisingly superb performance in goal also provided reason for fans to forget the score line and rally around each of his saves.
The Dynamo remain on the bottom level of the basement in the Western Conference, but will get a chance to redeem themselves this Saturday against Real Salt Lake at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; Abdoulie Mansally, Agus, David Horst, Jalil Anibaba; Alex Lima, Ricardo Clark; Giles Barnes, Cristian Maidana (Oscar Boniek Garcia 58'), Andrew Wenger (Leonel Miranda 59'); Will Bruin (Cubo Torres 59')
San Jose Earthquakes: David Bingham; Shaun Francis, Andres Imperiale, Victor Bernardez, Marvell Wynne; Matias Perez Garcia (Shea Salinas 64'), Anibal Godoy, Fatai Alashe, Alberto Quintero (Chad Barrett 80'); Simon Dawkins, Chris Wondolowski
3' Alberto Quintero (San Jose)
43' Ricardo Clark (Houston)
50' Anibal Godoy (San Jose)
70' Alberto Quintero (San Jose)
21' Yellow card to Alex Lima (Houston)
73' Yellow card to Marvell Wynne (San Jose)
79' Red card to Tyler Deric (Houston)