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Second half struggles lead to Houston Dynamo loss to FC Dallas

The Dynamo didn’t look the same team in the second half and Dallas pounced on an opportunity to get a game winner. 

MLS: Houston Dynamo at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo struggled in the second half and turnovers and a lack of communication proved costly and gave FC Dallas a game winner. The first half was better from Houston, who were on the road at Toyota Stadium, but the second half saw Dallas really pressuring for extended stretches of time.

During the opening minutes, the Dynamo came out and moved the ball well from the back through the midfield. However, FC Dallas was very disciplined with their shape and made it difficult for the Dynamo to involve their attacking players.

Dallas began to show some cracks in their defense with Ariel Lassiter and Mauro Manotas getting some shots off, but they were both poorly hit. A few turnovers in the midfield sparked some counter attacks for Dallas, but the Houston midfield and defenders were up to the task to prevent any serious opportunity for the home side.

In the 19th minute Lassiter cut inside and played a cross into the box. The curled cross was a beautiful one intended for the head of Mauro Manotas, but Manotas misjudged where the ball would end up and he missed it entirely.

The home side would grab the opening goal in the 28th minute. Following a foul by Darwin Cerén the ball would get crossed into the box. After Houston successfully headed it away, it fell to Andrés Ricaurte who scored what could be the goal of the year with a one timed side volley which beat Marko Marić.

Manotas almost gave the Dynamo an equalizer in the 37th minute. Dynamo attackers combined well and even though a Dallas defender got a touch on the ball, it took a favorable bounce and saw Manotas 1v1 with the FC Dallas goalkeeper. However, Manotas took too many touches and FC Dallas goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck was able to close down and make the save.

It would be Memo Rodríguez that did level things before halftime. After Darwin Quintero was brought down just outside the 18 yard box, Memo stood up and delivered a shot that was hit with power. Zobeck had a large wall and was well positioned himself, but Memo’s effort was just hit with too much pace to keep out of the net.

Within the first minute of the second half Marko Marić came up huge. After a ball was whipped across goal and wasn’t cleared, Marić went all the way across goal and made a play on the other side of the goal. VAR checked to see if the ball had crossed the line completely and replays confirmed that it did not. Still 1-1.

Dallas looked a little more energetic in the second half with both sides surrendering the midfield which picked up the pace of the game. The Dynamo back line increasingly looked sloppier which let Dallas’s attacking players in behind. Dallas would cry for a penalty, but the referee immediately said play on. The replay confirmed that the player was going down before he made contact with Adam Lundqvist.

The home side took the lead again in the 61st minute after a poor giveaway in a bad spot by Memo Rodríguez. Ryan Hollinshead found Michael Barrios who floated a ball into Franco Jara. Jara caught Marić in no man’s land who thought he was covered by Kiki Struna. Jara poked the ball out of the air and over Marić to make it 2-1 to the home team.

The Dynamo back line continued to not be on the same page. Troubles began on a free kick where Marić wanted four players in a wall and only got three – fortunately Marić was able to make the save. Then a cross came in and Adam Lundqvist left Michael Barrios unmarked, but thankfully his effort wasn’t on target.

Before the 80th minute Tab decided to shake things up by substituting on Christian Ramirez for Lundqvist which helped the Dynamo increase their presence in the midfield. It made the Dynamo more vulnerable by only having three at the back, but it allowed them to win the ball in the midfield before it reached the back.

The final whistle would blow and the home side would win after upping their pressure and capitalizing on a struggling back line. Tab’s experiment with three at the back didn’t prove to be fruitful, but it was a sign that he wanted to go for it which is a positive.

Next up for the Dynamo is Minnesota United FC back in Houston next Saturday September 19th at 7:00 PM CT as we step into phase 2 of the MLS reboot.


28’ FCD: Andrés Ricaurte

41’ HOU: Memo Rodríguez

61’ FCD: Franco Jara (assisted by Michael Barrios, Ryan Hollingshead)


28’ HOU: Darwin Cerén (yellow card)

33’ FCD: Thiago Santos (yellow card)

49’ HOU: Ariel Lassiter (yellow card)

87’ HOU: Memo Rodríguez (yellow card)

89’ HOU: Oscar Boniek García (yellow card)

90’+4’ FCD: Michael Barrios (yellow card)

90’+5’ HOU: Darwin Quintero (yellow card)


Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundqvist (79’ Christian Ramirez), Maynor Figueroa, Kiki Struna, Zarek Valentin; Memo Rodríguez (90’ Nico Lemoine), Matías Vera, Darwin Cerén (81’ Oscar Boniek García); Darwin Quintero, Mauro Manotas, Ariel Lassiter

FC Dallas (3-4-2-1): Kyle Zobeck; Reto Ziegler, Matt Hedges, Ryan Hollingshead; Andrés Ricaurte (80’ Edwin Cerrillo), Tanner Tessmann (68’ Brandon Servania), Thiago Santos, Bryan Reynolds; Santiago Mosquera (68’ Ricardo Pepi), Michael Barrios; Franco Jara (86’ Bressan)