Things didn’t exactly go according to plan for Houston on Tuesday night. In the first leg of their two game series against Tigres in the CONCACAF Champions League the Houston Dynamo lost 0-2 in a game where preventing Tigres from scoring was crucial.
The Houston starting line up took some hits thanks to injuries and sickness ahead of this game. Kiki Struna and Darin Ceren, likely starters, were both out with flu like symptoms. Juan David Cabezas picked up a knock in the last CCL game and didn’t play on Saturday against Real Salt Lake. While Tomas Martinez looked like he might have picked up an injury during Houston’s season opener against Real Salt Lake.
Houston held their own for much of the game against Tigres. The two teams spent the first twenty or so minutes feeling each other out, but the getting to know you phase quickly gave way to each side trying to create chances on the counterattack. Each side had five shots in the first half, but Tigres was the only team to get any of those shots on target which they managed with just one shot. As production started to improve the chippiness of the game also increased. 13 fouls were called on Tigres while nine were called against Houston. In spite of the physicality of the game no cards were issued in the first half.
The second half was a different story as Tigres was able to chip away at the Dynamo slowly overrunning them in the box. Tigres would continue to pressure in and around goal until they were finally able to get on the scoreboard. In the 78th minute Julian Quinones connected with Valencia who, this time, was able to get the ball past Willis to give Tigres the first goal of the night and a 0-1 lead. Three minute later the hole got deeper for the Dynamo. It was Valencia again this time putting the ball through the legs of DaMarcus Beasley before taking another shot to put it past Joe Willis and double Tigres’ lead.
It will be a difficult test next week for Houston when they travel to Estadio Universitario for the second leg. Tigres will hold a 2-0 advantage over the Dynamo. Before they face Tigres on the 12th the Dynamo will host the Montreal Impact in league play this Saturday.