Houston Dynamo FC were looking to close out the 2021 season with a win on the road, but unfortunately for the Dynamo CF Montréal had other plans at Stade Saputo. The Dynamo struggled in the first half to even get the ball out of their own half, but the defense was able to limit Montréal enough to be level at the half. An improved second half wasn’t enough with Houston conceding twice in the 2-0 loss in Canada.
The opening minutes had CF Montréal largely in control of the possession, but the Dynamo were pressuring the home side high in the midfield which eliminated Montréal from getting the ball too far forward. However, Houston had a few nervous moments around the 5th minute with Montréal seeing extended possession around the 6 yard box with some close clearances by the Dynamo keeping the game level at 0-0.
With Montréal in rhythm, the Dynamo began to sit deeper with Montréal surging forward. Houston would see some momentum swing their direction though with Griffin Dorsey pushing forward on the wing and earning a corner kick and then Darwin Cerén winning a free kick in a favorable position, but both times the Dynamo were unable to make anything of their chances.
Montréal attempted to strike back on the counter attack with excellent passing through the middle of the field which set up Zachary Breault-Guillard who attempted to cross the ball into the middle of the 6 yard box, but Dynamo center back Tim Parker read the play and sent the ball out for a corner.
As the game neared the 30 minute mark, Montréal continued their dominance in the Dynamo half of the field. The home side increased their pressure which made it difficult for the visitors to possess the ball for very long. Turnovers in the midfield and good passing by Montréal led to quick transitions that kept Houston pinned in their own half for extended stretches.
This continued as the game approached the half with Houston often clearing the ball right back to Montréal which led to more and more opportunities for Montréal to break through. There were a few chances the Dynamo got when they were able to move the ball from the back to the front, often on counter attacks, but Ariel Lassiter and the offense struggled to really challenge Montréal goalkeeper Sebastian Breza.
Early into the second half it looked like the Dynamo hadn’t learned any lessons from the first with Montréal continuing to press high and the Dynamo struggling to possess the ball. However, slowly Houston played their way back into the game with possession getting cleaned up which stretched the home side keeping their numbers back, and patiently that led to a few good opportunities to get the game’s opening goal. Ari Lassiter had the ball in a good spot and turned and forced a save and Memo Rodríguez also forced a low save by Breza. The benefit of possessing and playing their way back in was it pushed the home side back and away from Houston’s goal.
Despite the promising start to the second half, the Dynamo would end up conceding first. Following a corner kick, Alejandro Fuenmayor nearly headed the ball in an attempt to clear it into his own goal. The ball fell into a scrum of players from both teams and eventually Rudy Camacho would back heel the ball passed Dynamo goalkeeper Kyle Morton.
Things would go from bad to worse within minutes for the Dynamo. Again from a corner, Djordje Milhailovic sent the ball into the box and a poorly marked Kamal Miller headed the ball down and into the net.
As the game went on the changes Head Coach Tab Ramos made helped get the Dynamo back in the game with Tyler Pasher and Fafà Picault doing well moving up the field. Memo Rodríguez drew a free kick in a good spot with Pasher playing a dangerous low ball across goal. Picault was the intended target, but he was unable to get on the end of it.
The final whistle would blow and the Dynamo would fall 2-0 on the road. The first half was very rough for them, but they were able to defend well enough to keep the home side off the score board. The second half was significantly better, but a wild scramble and then a poorly defended set piece put Montréal up and they never looked back.
This is the final game of the Dynamo’s 2021 season campaign, but with a new General Manager in club legend Pat Onstad, it should be a lively and exciting offseason.
58’ MTL: Rudy Camacho
62’ MTL: Kamal Miller (assisted by Djordje Milhailovic)
44’ HOU: Ian Hoffman (yellow card)
53’ HOU: Ariel Lassiter (yellow card)
85’ HOU: Adalberto Carrasquilla (yellow card)
90’+1’ MTL: Sebastian Breza (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (3-4-2-1): Kyle Morton; Sam Junqua, Tim Parker, Alejandro Fuenmayor; Adam Lundkvist, Darwin Cerén (71’ Adalberto Carrasquilla), Matías Vera (62’ Joe Corona), Ian Hoffman; Memo Rodríguez (81’ Juan Castilla), Griffin Dorsey (62’ Tyler Pasher); Ariel Lassiter (71’ Fafà Picault)
CF Montréal (3-4-2-1): Sebastian Breza; Kamal Miller, Rudy Camacho, Joel Waterman; Ahmed Hamdi (67’ Emanuel Maciel), Victor Wanyama (67’ Samuel Piette), Mathieu Choinière, Zachary Breault-Guillard; Joaquín Torres (83’ Matko Miljevic), Djordje Milhailovic (74’ Lassi Lappalainen); Sunusi Ibrahim (66’ Romell Quioto)