The Houston Dynamo hit the road for the first time this season to play D.C. United at the Maryland Soccerplex. With DCU’s stadium not yet finished the squads faced off at the field in Boyds, Md. Both teams were looking to recover from losses last weekend. The Dynamo played a beautiful game against the Vancouver Whitecaps but suffered a 2-1 loss at home while United lost 3-1 to Atlanta United.
Aside from a first minute yellow card for Eric Alexander and a single shot from DCU Frederic Brilliant the first fifteen minutes of the game passed fairly quietly for both sides. Things got a little more exciting, at least for those at home, when snow started falling in the seventeenth minute and continued for most of the game.
Mauro Manotas had the first shot for the Dynamo that came from a cross from Alberth Elis. Manotas hit the ball awkwardly causing it to go loping off to side rather than at the net.
Finally in the 30th minute of the game the Dynamo broke the scoreless deadlock. Yamil Asad made a poor back pass as he tried to head the ball back to David Ousted. The goalkeeper wasn’t able to get to the ball going down as Elis gained control of the ball. Steven Birnbaum tried to get to the ball but he couldn’t quite catch up Elis as the midfielder’s shot went into the net uncontested. The Dynamo would go up 0-1 but the score held for barely a minute.
Elis would be key again as he worked to get the ball to the box pulling the DCU defenders towards the closer he got to goal. His cross in appeared to take a bit of a deflection, but his presence had left Manotas open to get to the ball. Manotas struck the ball sending it towards Oustad. This time the goalkeeper fell the wrong way as the ball went past his feet. In no time the Dynamo had a 2-0 lead on the road.
The second half got off to a poor start for the Dynamo as they gave up a goal to Darren Mattocks. As Mattocks got into the box Leonardo came sliding in in an attempt to create a turnover but he failed to disrupt Mattocks who regained control of the ball after it took a bounce backwards. Still with the ball Mattocks got off a shot that went past Chris Seitz and over the goal line. After video review for concerns of a Mattocks handball the goal stood and the Dynamo’s lead was cut in half, 1-2.
Shortly after subbing into the game Romell Quioto tried to extend the Dynamo lead firing a shot towards the net. His aim was a little off as it went just outside of the post.
Alexander found himself completely surrounded by black jerseys in the 68th minute, but he managed to pass the ball to the lone orange jersey any where near him, Alberth Elis. The midfielder once again found himself with a great chance and the ball as a result of Alexander’s efforts, however, Elis put too much power into his shot and sent it flying over the net.
DC United were not without additional chances in the second half. They found success as they sent balls long over the top to help put their forwards and midfielders in position. Mattocks and Asad repeatedly found themselves with the ball and a chance in front of the net forcing the Dynamo defense to try and prevent a tie.
However, the Dynamo’s luck ran out during the seven minutes of stoppage time when United finally found their second goal. United was awarded a free kick outside of the Dynamo box. The Dynamo failed to completely clear the ball after the kick was taken as the ball continued to be headed around the box. Eventually the ball was headed down to the feet of Luciano Acosta who took a shot and leveled the game, 2-2. With virtually no time left in the game the Dynamo were unable to try and stage an unlikely come back.
In the first half of the game DC United had three shots to the Dynamo’s six but in the second half those numbers rose to 12 shots for each of the clubs. The productivity tipped in DCU’s favor as the second half performance of the Dynamo got uglier and uglier as the game wore on until it culminated in the stoppage time goal from DCU. The Dynamo performance was quite the drop off after last week when the team displayed some of the best passing sequences the team has ever put together.
Now the Dynamo return home and turn their sights to the New England Revolution who they host next Saturday.