The Houston Dynamo looked to best their newest Texas rival, Austin FC, when they traveled I-10 to Q2 Stadium. However, Austin was eager to do well for their fans and were able to come out aggressive which led to a 2-1 win for the home side.
In the opening minutes Austin came out the more aggressive side with them getting numbers forward and looking the more dangerous of the teams with Houston sitting deeper and relying on the counter.
Just a few minutes in, Austin wanted a penalty following a corner kick as it looked like Fafà Picault had handled the ball. After listening to the VAR official, the center official said play on. However, Austin would not have to wait long to get a trip to the penalty spot. Cecilio Domínguez got free on the wing and was tripped up by Zarek Valentin. Even though it looked soft there was no hesitation by the center official. Domínguez stood over the ball and struck both posts before it deflected off Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Marić into the net. 1-0 Austin.
Ping, ping, thunk.— Austin FC (@AustinFC) October 24, 2021
We'll take it! pic.twitter.com/WnayQXTG2s
Even with Austin largely in control of the game from the start, the Dynamo did have a few dangerous moments, but were lacking that final touch or pass to get a quality look on goal. Picault had a nice run when the Dynamo had a numbers advantage going forward, but dribbled straight into his defender. A few minutes later Darwin Quintero picked out Griffin Dorsey who couldn’t quite get his cross to any Dynamo player. Dorsey also had a great solo run deep from the Dynamo half which led to a shot near post by Maxi Urruti, but it was at a difficult angle and saved by Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver.
As the game approached the 30th minute mark, momentum began to shift in favor of the Dynamo as they increased pressure in the final third of the field. Austin still looked threatening, but most of the opportunities came from the counter.
Austin had a huge chance to double their lead in the 35th minute. A switch of field by Austin saw Diego Fagúndez head the ball across to Alexander Ring who headed the ball back to Moussa Djitté. Djitté took his touch and tried to strike the ball into the roof of the net, but Marić came up with a huge save to keep the goal deficit the same.
Despite the improved play by the visitors, it would be the home side that doubled their lead in stoppage time of the first half. The Dynamo back line were lazily playing the ball thinking the halftime whistle was coming, but it led to a turnover that Austin capitalized on. The ball was played from out wide to Ring in the middle. Ring picked out Sebastián Driussi who took a touch and measured a ball back post and into the goal. 2-0 Austin.
Early into the second half Austin again came out with a lot of energy and they made Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Marić work with him getting a pair of saves, the Dynamo defenders had a pair of blocked shots, and Tim Parker even had to clear a ball off the line.
Just like in the first half, as the game went on momentum began to swing to the visitors. Houston was lucky to not have conceded another, but the defense and work by Marić kept them down just two goals. However, even with more possession in the final third by the Dynamo, that final touch or pass was missing to really threaten on goal.
Houston continued to push for a goal through the 75th minute following a corner. Quintero played a ball near post which Matías Vera played back to him. Quintero then played a ball which substitute Coco Carrasquilla tried to volley passed Stuver, but he didn’t get great contact on the shot which was easily saved by the goalkeeper.
Austin again came close to adding to their lead this time just before the 80th minute. A ball was played to Ring who took a touch and ripped a shot towards the lower corner, but Marić was able to make a one handed diving save.
In stoppage time the Dynamo were able to get a goal back. Ariel Lassiter made an excellent run down the right wing. As he got towards the end line he tried to play it across to Urruti, but was met by Nick Lima who cleared it into Julio Cascante and the ball ricocheted into the net to make it 2-1.
The final whistle would sound and the home side would win 2-1. Austin started both halves the stronger side and were able to produce goals in the first half with the Dynamo defending well – and with a little luck – were unable to score in the second. Houston played their way back into each half, but still lack the ability to create quality chances on goal.
Next up for the Dynamo is the penultimate game for the 2021 season and final game at PNC Stadium when the Colorado Rapids come to Houston on Halloween for an afternoon game at 2:30 PM CT.
8’ ATX: Marko Marić (own goal)
45’+4’ ATX: Sebastián Driussi (assisted by Alexander Ring)
90’+2’ HOU: Julio Cascante (own goal)
11’ HOU: Darwin Cerén (yellow card)
38’ ATX: Daniel Pereira (yellow card)
48’ ATX: Sebastián Driussi (yellow card)
54’ ATX: Žan Kolmanič (yellow card)
74’ HOU: Matías Vera (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundkvist, Sam Junqua, Tim Parker, Zarek Valentin (HT Ian Hoffman); Darwin Cerén (66’ Adalberto Carrasquilla), Darwin Quintero, Matías Vera; Griffin Dorsey (76’ Tyler Pasher), Maxi Urruti, Fafà Picault (66’ Ariel Lassiter)
Austin FC (4-2-3-1): Brad Stuver; Daniel Pereira, Jhohan Romaña, Julio Cascante, Nick Lima; Alexander Ring (89’ Jon Gallagher), Hector Jiménez; Cecilio Domínguez (68’ Rodney Redes), Sebastián Driussi (84’ Tomás Pochettino), Diego Fagúndez; Moussa Djitté (68’ McKinze Gaines)