The Houston Dynamo managed a 1-1 draw with I-45 rivals FC Dallas in the opening match of the Texas Derby. Dallas got off to a dream start scoring inside the first minute of the game. They would continue to press Houston’s midfield and defenders throughout the game, but the Dynamo were able to get back in it with a goal coming from Mauro Manotas. Both sides came close to getting a second goal with Adolfo Machado giving up a penalty against Dallas, but Joe Willis came up big to make the stop. Manotas thought he had put the Dynamo up just a minute after the penalty save, but VAR correctly ruled the goal was offside. A draw was a fair result all things considered, but Dynamo fans have to feel a little disappointed after seeing Manotas’s second goal taken away.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) FC Dallas came out to win this game and their energy and pressure early helped them go up a goal. The game itself was pretty back and forth, but I would give Dallas the advantage on number of dangerous moments – especially in the first half. Towards the end of the game it looked like the strategy by Wilmer Cabrera was to try not lose rather than to get a game winner. I noticed at times Cabrera signaling to Memo Rodríguez, who had come on for Romell Quioto, to move back into the midfield and even deeper as a defender. The lack of another attacking option led to moments where players were stranded with no one to pass to. The draw was probably more than fair given the number of chances for Dallas, but I’m left wondering if we could have showed more energy and support up top. Then again, the Dynamo have played a lot of games lately so it’s hard to see how much left they had in the tank.
2) Turnovers in the midfield let FC Dallas find some very dangerous opportunities. They got the ball in a good position and attacked through the center using Maximiliano Urruti, but they also targeted the slower right back Adolfo Machado to find room to get a ball into the box. The Dynamo defense actually looked very good apart from Machado. Jared Watts should have done a little better against Matt Hedges on the opening goal, but he had several big tackles and intercepted passes inside the 6 yard box. Alejandro Fuenmayor collected three blocked shots as well and DaMarcus Beasley was able to keep up with the quick Michael Barrios. Let’s not forget Joe Willis either who had three saves total with a penalty save.
3) The Dynamo’s equalizer was really quite something. It began out of the back with Jared Watts dribbling through the defense and into the midfield. He took a touch which nearly was too heavy, but he used it to send in an excellent pass to Romell Quioto on the left wing. Quioto chested the ball down and took some space while looking at the run of Mauro Manotas. He sent in with his left foot a perfectly weighted ball to Manotas who got just in front of FCD goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez to tie it up. They moved the ball quickly from the back to the wing and there was good movement off the ball. This was very true to their style of play and looked gorgeous due to the accuracy of the passes by Watts and Quioto.
4) The VAR call was the right one as Manotas was visibly in an offside position. I did love the attacking effort following the penalty save. They used the energy created by the Joe Willis save to put something together on the other end and they did it immediately following the save. Before the days of VAR this would have stayed a goal, but unfortunately it was reviewed.
5) Bonus: This was just incredible.