The game couldn’t have started any better for the Houston Dynamo. Cool weather, great atmosphere, and an early goal by forward Mauro Manotas. By the time the Orange and Minnesota United FC hit the locker rooms for the half, the Dynamo were up 2-0.
Then it just unraveled.
“75 minutes of this game, we were good,” Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “And then 10 minutes, we lost control of everything. The first 10 minutes of the second half, I didn’t recognize the guys.”
Just after the second half restart, the Loons’ Christian Ramirez found himself on the business end of cross from a corner kick – unmarked – putting away the header to make it 2-1.
The pressure kept coming.
In the 59th minute, a poor clearance by the Dynamo defense left the ball in the middle of the box. It was easy pickings for Johan Venegas, who equalized for the visitors.
“We lost control of the ball, we couldn’t make three passes in a row; we lost our intensity,” Cabrera said. “I’m gonna blame myself; I’m gonna take full responsibility for that – I’m not gonna blame the guys.”
Cabrera was rather pleased with the way the Dynamo responded after they conceded the tying goal.
“I just told the guys I’m gonna take the last 30 minutes, the way they reacted is the way I’m looking for the team… in 2017 to play.”
The Dynamo got on the scoresheet in the 14th minute. Manotas got a loose ball on the top of the box, made a quick turn to his left, and hit a low shot to the far post. In the 43rd minute, Boniek Garcia sent a free kick to box, where a wide-open Alberth Elis speared a shot into goal. The Dynamo looked dangerous toward the end, with Cubo Torres nearly connecting on numerous opportunities.
“We fought till the end, that’s way every game should be,” Dynamo forward Vicente Sanchez said. “We have to correct our errors. We have to prepare ourselves. That’s soccer for you.”