Saturday kicked off the 2019 season for MLS. For the Houston Dynamo that meant hosting Real Salt Lake in a late afternoon game. It was for the most part a quiet game that saw a spicy ending thanks to the usual PROreferee decisions.
The first half was a typical first half between the two sides that held little excitement until the 41st minute. The Dynamo turned the ball over at midfield to RSL which allowed Corey Baird to play the ball to Albert Rusnak. Dynamo defender Adam Lunqvist failed to stop Rusnak as he got around him in the box and powered his shot to the net to give RSL a 0-1 lead.
Lundqvist nearly made up for the error a few minutes later as he got by two defenders before passing the ball to Mauro Manotas who was in the box but Manotas wasn’t able to get the shot off as he had to defenders on him.
42' Ok we see ya @LundqvistA!— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) March 2, 2019
0-1 #HOUvRSL pic.twitter.com/gAWFWHoWc5
In the 62nd minute of the game Maynor Figueroa passed the ball to Lundqvist from the midfield to just outside the box. Lundqvist crossed the ball in to Manotas who was running in front of goal. Manotas jumped up and got his foot on the ball to direct it towards goal and past Nick Rimando to level the score.
Boniek Garcia found the back of the net in the 76th minute but it was ruled offside. It looked like a close call when the replay was shown on tv but the referee declined to go to VAR and review the play. Had the goal been allowed fans in attendance at the game would have gotten $40 worth of free gas from 76.
In the 81st minute, Matias Vera went in on a late tackle on RSL’s Joao Plata and was issued a yellow card. The card was his second of the night (he had one early in the first half) which meant he was sent off for the night and the Dynamo were left to finish the game out with 10 men. Shortly after the referee decided NOT to give a second yellow card to RSL’s Everton Luiz after a poor tackle on a Dynamo player. Showing that in spite of a new season kicking off PRO referees are just as inconsistent as ever. But it wouldn’t really be a MLS game if there weren’t obvious bad calls from PRO referees.
The was an okay showing for both sides which is what games between the two tend to look like. Defensive battles that doesn’t light up the night. When the final whistle blew RSL had 14 shots in the game, 10 of which they had in the first half. The Dynamo, however, had just eight shots in the game.
The Dynamo will play in CCL competition during the week against Tigres then on Saturday they will face the Montreal Impact. The good news in the busy week will continue to take place at home with both games being played at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Opening Day Starting XI: Willis; K. Garcia, Fuenmayor, Figueroa, Lundkvist; B. García, Vera; Martínez; Elis, Manotas, Quioto#HOUvRSL #ForeverOrange pic.twitter.com/fDHaDyUV6P— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) March 2, 2019
We’re back!#StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/9z3n0kY1h4— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) March 2, 2019
52' First substitution for the Dynamo. Tommy for Tomi.— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) March 3, 2019
IN: Tommy McNamara
OUT: Tomás Martínez
67' - #RSL with its first change of the night:— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) March 3, 2019
Johnson ↔ Baird
1-1 | #StrongerTogether
76' Dynamo substitution.— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) March 3, 2019
IN: Memo Rodriguez
OUT: Romell Quioto
78' - #RSL sub:— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) March 3, 2019
Plata ↔ Savarino
1-1 | #StrongerTogether
89' Final substitution for the Dynamo.— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) March 3, 2019
IN: Marlon Hairston
OUT: Mauro Manotas