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Houston Dynamo unable to finish off Columbus Crew SC, settle for draw

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It was a dominating display by the Houston Dynamo, but the final effort wasn’t there to put the game out of reach as the Crew and Dynamo walk away level at a goal each. 

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

The Houston Dynamo came close to getting three points against the visiting Columbus Crew SC, but they’ll have to settle for a draw. Despite being the team in control for most of the game, they weren’t able to break through and put the game away. On top of some finishing woes another error out of the back proved costly.

In the game’s opening minutes, the Crew pressed the Dynamo very high, but the home side was still able to get some chances. After winning the ball in Columbus’s half, the counter was on, but Mauro Manotas was too slow to spring it and the Crew were able to get numbers back. Not long after that Sam Junqua won Houston a corner and the delivery was good. Manotas tried to redirect it into the net, but it barely missed as it went wide.

Just after the 10th minute the Dynamo nearly got the opener. Niko Hansen did well to cut inside deep into the final third and he drew a foul on the edge of the 18 yard box. Darwin Quintero drove in a low ball which was a great idea, but there was nobody back post to tap in the effort.

With the teams settling into the game, the high press that the Crew came out with had cooled down with players sitting deeper in the midfield due to the Dynamo’s offense clicking. The Crew still kept a relatively high back line, but their offense was mostly limited to counter attacking.

Memo tried to get the opener in the 25th minute with a pair of good chances. Memo cut inside in the 18 yard box and got space on his defender and fired a shot. The ball appeared to strike the arm of a Crew player, but the referee said play on. The Dynamo quickly regained possession and Memo again tried his luck, but he couldn’t get the ball far enough back post and Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room made the save.

Before halftime the Dynamo would finally break through to get on the score sheet first. Zarek Valentin played a great through ball to Hansen on the wing. Hansen made a run and squared a ball across goal towards Memo who struck the ball which was initially saved by Room. The ball came free and Memo got his own rebound and put it into the net. Following the goal it looked like Memo had hurt his left ankle after stepping awkwardly on a post in the back of the net. After a brief moment of concern, he would return to the field.

In the 45th minute the Crew nearly capitalized on an error out of the back. Maynor Figueroa played a pass out of the back, but it was intercepted by Pedro Santos who was 1v1 with Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Marić. Santos could have tried to chip Marić, but he opted to strike it which was well off target. Pedro Santos had another chance shortly after and again couldn’t equalize.

The Dynamo came out aggressively to start the second half as they pressed Columbus often which helped them win the ball and transition to offense quickly. Memo was key to winning some corners just a few minutes into the half.

The Crew had their first dangerous moment of the second half before the 60th minute. Santos stepped over a free kick and played a perfect ball behind the defense and offense, but there was no Columbus player able to get on the end of it.

Columbus began to play their way back into the game with Houston possibly frustrated they hadn’t had a second goal. The Crew started pressing higher and were taking away possession before the Dynamo could get the ball up the field. The game would be level in the 67th minute after a Víctor Cabrera own goal. The ball would get sent into the box intended for Krisztián Németh. Cabrera tried to clear it and he didn’t strike the ball cleanly and it redirected into the Dynamo goal.

The Dynamo began to play their way back into the game with head coach Tab Ramos making the adjustments by putting José Bizama and Ariel Lassiter on. The move allowed them to switch to three defenders in the back when Houston had possession and four when Columbus had possession. In the 88th minute Bizama got the ball and drove from the end line towards goal and played a ball into the 6 yard box. Darwin Quintero struck the ball first time and blasted it into the seats.

The final whistle would blow and the two teams would walk away with a point each. The Dynamo dominated for most of the game and rattled off a lot of chances, but many of those weren’t too threatening and only one found the back of the net. The Crew took control of the game for a brief period in the second half and a Dynamo error put them back in the game.

Next up for the Dynamo is LAFC next Wednesday on October 28th at 9:30 PM CT.

Goals:

37’ HOU: Memo Rodríguez

67’ CLB: Víctor Cabrera (own goal)

Disciplinary:

22’ HOU: Memo Rodríguez (yellow card)

32’ CLB: Harrison Afful (yellow card)

42’ HOU: Matías Vera (yellow card)

84’ CLB: Aidan Morris (yellow card)

90’+1’ CLB: Luis Díaz (yellow card)

Lineups:

Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Sam Junqua, Maynor Figueroa, Víctor Cabrera (77’ José Bizama), Zarek Valentin; Memo Rodríguez (60’ Oscar Boniek García), Matías Vera, Darwin Cerén; Darwin Quintero, Mauro Manotas, Niko Hansen (77’ Ariel Lassiter)

Columbus Crew SC (4-2-3-1): Eloy Room; Milton Valenzuela, Aboubacar Keita, Jonathan Mensah, Harrison Afful; Artur, Darlington Nagbe (63’ Aidan Morris); Emmanuel Boateng (HT Lucas Zelarayán), Pedro Santos (84’ Jordan Hamilton), Derrick Etienne (63’ Luis Díaz); Krisztián Németh (78’ Youness Mokhtar)