The Houston Dynamo struggled in the first half with lack of possession and turnovers once again proving to be the team’s undoing. Minnesota got two first half goals, and saved a Darwin Quintero penalty, but the Dynamo fought back in the second half to earn a 2-2 draw.
The Loons opened the scoring off a perfect counter-attack in the 11th minute. The final ball ended up at the feet of Kevin Molino on the left side of the box and he beat Marko Maric at the far post.
Houston had a golden opportunity to equalize just minutes later in the 17th minute.. Memo Rodriguez did well to win the ball of Roman Metanire and the was brought down in the box to earn a penalty. Rodriguez wanted to take the penalty but birthday boy Darwin Quintero stepped to the spot. Quintero’s penalty was a poor one and Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair was able to make the save and keep the Dynamo off the score sheet.
The Dynamo came out looking lively to begin the second half. Quintero and Mauro Manotas both had great chances but again St. Clair was huge for Minnesota.
St. Clair was finally beaten in the 58th minute. After Zarek Valentin sent in a cross, the Loons keeper came out to win the ball. St. Clair could only get a hand on it and push it to the top of the box where Quintero gathered the ball. His deft chip lobbed St. Clair and nestled in to the net to pull one back for the Dynamo.
After all of St. Clair’s heroics, Maric was not to be denied in making a highlight of his own. Molino seemed to have picked out the top corner for his brace in the 66th minute but Maric made a sprawling dive to tip the shot over the bar. Keeping Molino from grabbing Minnesota’s third proved to be beneficial.
Matias Vera won a free kick after getting forward on a counter attack, and Darwin stepped up to take it. Quintero’s shot was well saved again by St. Clair but center back Maynor Figueroa was in the right place at the right time to head in the equalizer. The Dynamo had fought back and were level after 70 minutes.
The Dynamo pushed for the final 20 minutes to find a winner but couldn’t get past the young Minnesota goalkeeper. Matias Vera had the best chance in the 82nd minute but St. Clair did well to get down low at his near post and keep the game tied. Minnesota also hit the post twice late in the game through Emanuel Reynoso and Molino. The visitors had to play the final few minutes with 10 men after Jan Gregus was sent off after a VAR review for swinging his arm at Darwin Ceren. Still, the Dynamo were unable to find a winner in stoppage time.
Next up for the Dynamo is the Chicago Fire on the road on Wednesday September 23rd at 6:30 PM CT.
11’ MIN: Kevin Molino
45+2’ MIN: Robin Lod
58’ HOU: Darwin Quintero
70’ HOU: Maynor Figueroa
40’ MIN: Mason Toye (yellow card)
44’ HOU: Matias Vera (yellow card)
67” HOU: Kiki Struna (yellow card)
77’ HOU: Memo Rodriguez (yellow card)
81’ MIN: Michael Boxall (yellow card)
88’ MIN: Jan Gregus (red card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundqvist, Maynor Figueroa, Kiki Struna, Zarek Valentin; Memo Rodríguez (80’ Nico Lemoine), Matías Vera, Darwin Cerén (90’ Christian Ramirez); Darwin Quintero, Mauro Manotas (77’ Niko Hansen), Ariel Lassiter (90’ Tomas Martinez)
Minnesota United FC (4-2-3-1): Dayne St. Clair; Chase Gasper, Bakaye Dibassy (46’ Jose Aja), Michael Boxall, Romain Metanire; Hassani Dotson, Jan Gregus; Kevin Molino (86’ Aaron Schoenfeld), Emanuel Reynoso (90’ Jacori Hayes), Robin Lod; Mason Toye (62’ Marlon Hairston)