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Houston Dynamo put in great team performance in win over FC Dallas

The Houston Dynamo were down a man for the whole second half, but the team defended well together and even got an insurance goal

MLS: FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo broke a six game winless streak with a 2-0 win over in-state rivals, FC Dallas. Although Dallas opened the game the stronger side, the Dynamo battled back and got the opening goal. Despite going down a man just before halftime, the defense held up well and the Dynamo doubled their lead with a penalty.

Dallas looked dangerous before the 4th minute. After a poor giveaway in the midfield, the visitors quickly pushed up the field to attack the Dynamo. A run that drifted towards the middle set up a nice lay off pass for Andrés Ricaurte to one touch it from distance. Ricaurte lined up a shot with his left foot and the number 10 struck the post which ricocheted out for a goal kick.

The opening minutes were dominated by FC Dallas who put the defense and midfielders under a lot of pressure which forced some bad turnovers. Alejandro Fuenmayor gave up the ball a few yards in front of the 18 yard box and almost gave Dallas a goal with Michael Barrios trying his luck to beat Marko Marić. Marić did well to close the down space and make the save.

Houston struggled to get their offense going, but when it did look dangerous it was through Darwin Quintero. In the 15th minute, Quintero got free in the middle of the field and faked a pass out wide to Sam Junqua and crossed his defender to create space to shoot. His shot was a dangerous one with Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer getting the slightest of touches which guided it to strike the crossbar before being cleared out for a corner.

FC Dallas had been the team in control, but Houston found the back of the net first in the 20th minute. Ari Lassiter did well to win the ball in a great position and then picked out Quintero who took a touch and beat Maurer back post. 1-0 Houston.

The Dynamo came close to adding to their tally after the 30th minute as Dallas was down a man. Matt Hedges was forced to come off due to injury and before his substitute was on Mauro Manotas tried his luck to go back post but it was saved. Junqua tried to head the saved effort back in, but Maurer was quick to react and keep Houston at just one goal. After Hedges’s substitute, Bressan, came on Quintero hit Dallas on the counter by playing Manotas a ball with the outside of his foot. Manotas dribbled into the box and had a go, but it too was saved.

Just before halftime, Manotas mistimed a tackle on Ricaurte as he tried to win the ball back in the final third of the field. However, it was a poor tackle and Manotas was initially shown a yellow, although after a quick look at VAR the card was upgraded to red leaving Houston with 10 men to finish the match.

Dynamo Head Coach Tab Ramos adjusted in the second half by changing the shape of his team to a 4-4-1 with his side down a man. The tactic largely worked early into the second half with the defense absorbing the pressure by Dallas and the offense actually finding some meaningful time of possession in Dallas’s half.

As the game played on, FC Dallas began increasing their possession in Houston’s half, but the Dynamo did well to get compact and make it difficult for the visitors to break them down. The Dynamo were able to find some room to counter with trio of Quintero, Junqua, and Lassiter linking well without much support.

Houston combined well just before the 80th minute with Oscar Boniek García leading the Dynamo on a great counter attack. Boniek picked out Darwin Cerén who took his space and played a great ball into Niko Hansen. Hansen drifted into the box and his shot was blocked and Christian Ramirez who was trailing the run was taken down as well. After some confusion, the referee went to VAR and ruled that Bryan Reynolds took down Hansen in the box which resulted in a penalty. Ramirez looked ready to take the penalty, but the center official told him that he had to leave the field since he did not have permission to come back on after receiving some help from the medical team. Darwin Cerén stepped up and nailed the penalty. 2-0 Houston

Bressan was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Junqua, but after protesting the center official went to VAR and reversed the sending off to a yellow.

After nine minutes of stoppage time plus time added for dead plays during stoppage, the final whistle blew and the Dynamo earned three hard fought points. The team defended well together despite looking a little off in the first half. Dallas took its foot off the gas and the Dynamo looked sharper. In the second half, following Manotas’s sending off, the whole team got compact, but found space to combine on the counter which allowed Houston to control some of the possession especially later on in the second half. This also helped Houston get a penalty which took any wind out of Dallas’s sails.

Next up for the Dynamo is Inter Miami this Saturday, October 10th at 4:00 PM CT.


20’ HOU: Darwin Quintero (assisted by Ariel Lassiter)

83’ HOU: Darwin Cerén (penalty)


8’ HOU: Alejandro Fuenmayor (yellow card)

16’ HOU: Darwin Cerén (yellow card)

45’+2’ HOU: Mauro Manotas (red card)

59’ FCD: Reto Ziegler (yellow card)

81’ FCD: Bryan Reynolds (yellow card)

90’+1’ FCD: Bressan (yellow card)

90’+8’ FCD: Michael Barrios (yellow card)


Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundqvist, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Kiki Struna, José Bizama (90’+10’ Wilfried Zahibo); Sam Junqua (90’+4’ Zarek Valentin), Oscar Boniek García, Darwin Cerén; Darwin Quintero (70’ Christian Ramirez), Mauro Manotas, Ariel Lassiter (70’ Niko Hansen)

FC Dallas (4-2-3-1): Jimmy Maurer; Ryan Hollingshead, Reto Ziegler (85’ Dante Sealy), Matt Hedges (33’ Bressan), Bryan Reynolds; Bryan Acosta (64’ Jesús Ferreira), Thiago Santos (HT Tanner Tessmann); Fabrice-Jean Picault (85’ Ricardo Pepi), Andrés Ricaurte, Michael Barrios; Franco Jara