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Strong second half performance leads to Houston Dynamo draw with Minnesota United

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Two early mistakes saw the Dynamo down a pair of goals at halftime with Minnesota United, but a strong second half saw the sides even after 90 minutes.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Minnesota United FC David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo came away with a point on the road against Minnesota United FC. The first half began pretty solid, but the Loons capitalized on a pair of mistakes which led to the Dynamo being down 2-0 at halftime. Houston flipped the script in the second half and controlled things until the final whistle and ended up 2-2.

Early into the game the Dynamo looked more engaged than they had in their previous two outings. The defense and midfielders were quick to step into passes to keep Minnesota from building their offense and they transitioned the game very quickly often utilizing Ari Lassiter.

Despite the Dynamo’s positive showing in the opening minutes, the Loons pounced on an opportunity to go up first in just the 11th minute. Following a throw in inside Minnesota’s half Kei Kamara helped a ball onto Robin Lod who had gotten behind Maynor Figueroa and the Dynamo defense. Lod made a long run into the box and then squared a ball towards Ethan Finlay who beat Marko Marić. 1-0 Minnesota.

After Minnesota’s opening goal, the Dynamo struggled to break down the home side with the Loons sitting a little deeper. Houston moved the ball well from the wide areas, but the final pass into the box was lacking.

Things would get worse for the Dynamo in the 30th minute with Finlay again getting on the score sheet. After failing to win the ball in the midfield, Jacori Hayes saw the run of Finlay open up and he played him a great through ball and he beat Marić back post.

Mauro Manotas tried to break his scoring slump a few minutes later. Space opened up for the forward and he fired a shot from distance. Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair went full stretch and got a touch to it and the ball ricocheted off the top of the crossbar.

Halftime substitute Niko Hansen had a golden opportunity to get the Dynamo back in the game just two minutes in the second half. Adam Lundqvist played a beautiful diagonal cross to the winger, but Hansen opted for the chip shot rather than trying his luck 1v1 with the keeper.

In the 59th minute the Dynamo got some life back after a great sequence. Darwin Cerén won the ball in the middle of the field which led to a 4v2 counter attack. Cerén played a great ball to Darwin Quintero who took his space before squaring the ball across goal. Cerén left the ball to Memo Rodríguez who wasted no time and smashed the ball into the back of the net.

The Dynamo’s goal swung the momentum to the visitors as they continued to rattle off chances. Finally the equalizer came in the 83rd minute by Hansen. Mauro Manotas was played a ball and made his run into the box. Manotas tried to find Hansen with a pass across goal, but it was initially stopped. Hansen got the rebounded effort and put the ball in at point blank range. After a quick check with VAR about whether or not Manotas was onside, the goal stood.

Houston almost got the full three points coming off a corner kick. Darwin Cerén rose up and headed the effort towards goal, but Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair somehow pushed the ball into the bar and came away with it.

The final whistle would blow and the two sides came away level with two goals each. The Dynamo had a decent first half in terms of limiting the Loons to few chances and transitioning the ball up the field quickly, but the forwards and midfielders were not in sync and the final pass wasn’t there. The second half, the Dynamo were in complete control in nearly all aspects.

Next up for the Dynamo is Columbus Crew SC on Saturday October 24th at 8:00 PM CT.

Goals:

11’ MIN: Ethan Finlay (assisted by Robin Lod, Kei Kamara)

30’ MIN: Ethan Finlay (assisted by Jacori Hayes)

59’ HOU: Memo Rodríguez (assisted by Darwin Quintero, Darwin Cerén)

83’ HOU: Niko Hansen

Disciplinary:

9’ HOU: Adam Lundqvist (yellow card)

90’+4’ MIN: Jacori Hayes (yellow card)

Lineups:

Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundqvist (90’+4’ Sam Junqua), Maynor Figueroa, Víctor Cabrera (75’ José Bizama), Zarek Valentin; Memo Rodríguez, Matías Vera, Darwin Cerén; Darwin Quintero, Mauro Manotas, Ariel Lassiter (HT Niko Hansen)

Minnesota United FC (4-2-3-1): Dayne St. Clair; Chase Gasper, Bakaye Dibassy, Michael Boxall, Romain Métanire; Hassani Dotson (15’ Osvaldo Alonso), Jacori Hayes; Robin Lod, Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay (69’ Marlon Hairston); Kei Kamara (70’ Aaron Schoenfeld)