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Dynamo unable to make up for poor first half, fall to Nashville at home

The Dynamo had a good second half, but credit the Nashville defense and players for capitalizing on some errors by Houston in the first half.

MLS: Nashville SC at Houston Dynamo Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The struggles for the Houston Dynamo continued as they dropped a game at BBVA Stadium to Nashville SC. The team lacked energy and as a result were not as sharp with their passing or defending and Nashville quickly pounced on some opportunities. Despite a good effort in the second half, the Nashville back line was able to keep Houston from picking up a point.

The first ten minutes saw the Dynamo control the majority of the possession with Nashville sitting deeper. Houston worked the ball left to right well, but were not quick enough to look dangerous. Nashville did well to counter attack and take advantage of poor passing by the Dynamo in the midfield, but they weren’t able to get quality chances on goal.

In the 15th minute the visitors would get the opening goal. Abu Danladi played a through ball to Hany Mukhtar who played himself a pass around Kiki Struna and went 1v1 with Marko Marić. Mukhtar coolly played the ball back post around Marić.

Nashville would go up another goal four minutes later with Danladi again getting involved this time as the goal scorer. A nice back heel saw Taylor Washington open on the wing. After getting into some space he played a cross in perfectly finding Danladi who headed the ball into the net.

The visitors stunned the Dynamo again in the 23rd minute this time coming off a wonderfully taken set piece. Hany Mukhtar got his second goal of the day standing over the ball about 5 yards out from the 18 yard box with Marko Marić having no chance of saving the effort.

For much of the first half the Dynamo struggled to transition the ball from the midfield to the forwards with a lot of sloppy passing and defending that Nashville capitalized on. After going down three goals the Dynamo still kept a lot of numbers back with many in the midfield not pressing Nashville when they had possession and they stayed back while the visitors had numbers defensively.

The second half was a little better for Houston. The Dynamo pressed a little higher which allowed them to get some chances. After the 50th minute Darwin Quintero played a great through ball to Ari Lassiter, but he took too many touches and launched a shot into the seats. Mauro Manotas tried his luck near post but Joe Willis did well to keep Houston off the board.

The Dynamo continued to knock on the door in the second half with Tomás Martínez trying his luck from distance after a poor giveaway by Nashville, but it went just wide of the goal. A few minutes later Manotas blocked Joe Willis’s clearance, but the Dynamo couldn’t use their numbers to steal a goal.

Houston finally broke through the Nashville back line after some very good passing in tight spaces by Christian Ramirez and Mauro Manotas which set up Darwin Quintero who poked the ball passed Joe Willis.

Although the Dynamo got some good chances before the final whistle, the Nashville defense and Joe Willis were not conceding a second goal. After 90 minutes and stoppage time the Dynamo dropped the game 3-1. Despite some quality chances in the second half, the poor passing, defending, and lack of energy in the first 25 minutes did them in.

Next up for the Dynamo is Minnesota United FC on Sunday October 18th at 7:00 PM CT.

Goals:

15’ NSH: Hany Mukhtar (assisted by Abu Danladi)

19’ NSH: Abu Danladi (assisted by Taylor Washington)

23’ NSH: Hany Mukhtar

75’ HOU: Darwin Quintero (assisted by Mauro Manotas, Christian Ramirez)

Disciplinary:

22’ HOU: Maynor Figueroa (yellow card)

82’ HOU: Tomás Martínez (yellow card)

86’ NSH: Brayan Beckeles (yellow card)

Lineups:

Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundqvist (67’ Sam Junqua), Maynor Figueroa, Kiki Struna (78’ Niko Hansen), José Bizama; Adam Lunqvist, Memo Rodríguez, Matías Vera, Darwin Cerén (25’ Tomás Martínez); Darwin Quintero, Mauro Manotas, Ariel Lassiter (66’ Christian Ramirez)

Nashville SC (4-3-2-1): Joe Willis; Jack Maher (85’ Brayan Beckeles), Dave Romney, Jalil Anibaba, Eric Miller; Matt LaGrassa (70’ Aníbal Godoy), Taylor Washington, Tah Anunga; Hany Mukhtar (HT Derrick Jones), Alex Muyl (70’ Jhonder Cádiz); Abu Danladi (HT Randall Leal)