Houston Dynamo FC were back in action looking to regain some traction following a loss last weekend to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park. This week they were back at BBVA Stadium facing the visiting LAFC and were able to come away with a point. Both sides struggled to possess for long stretches and the two sides exchanged goals just two minutes apart from each other.
The opening minutes were sloppy by both sides with Houston and LA struggling to transition the ball to the offense from the midfield. Lots of turnovers and both teams trying to build confidence through their possession, LAFC had the first real opportunity of the game before the 15th minute. A beautifully threaded pass to Diego Rossi saw the attacker go 1v1 vs Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Marić. The shot tried to go under Marić, but Marić was able to get a hand and smoother the effort.
sheeeeeshhhh— Houston Dynamo FC (@HoustonDynamo) May 1, 2021
Houston tried to capitalize a few minutes later following a corner kick. Memo Rodríguez sent the ball into play from the left corner and it fell to Maxi Urruti, but his strike went across goal and floated out of play.
Before the 30th minute Fafà Picault earned a free kick in a great spot on the corner of the 18 yard box. A well hit long ball played to Picault had him seemingly on goal, but Jesús David Murillo brought him down leading to a booking. The ensuing free kick though was disappointing though and went out of play.
Just before halftime the Dynamo had a great defensive play led by their center forward. Following a corner kick, Urruti did well to defend and help win back possession which he took his space and then set free Tyler Pasher. The ball wasn’t great and took Pasher out of his stride, but he found Joe Corona who forced a difficult save by the LAFC goalkeeper.
Early into the second half we saw more of what we did in the first with the same sloppy play on both sides. The Dynamo were able to tighten up their passing through the midfield which allowed them to continue to win set pieces and get a few opportunities, but still struggled to put the ball in the net.
Suddenly the game picked up some steam with a pair of goals coming two minutes apart. LAFC got the game’s opener with Corey Baird slotting in Latif Blessing’s pass. It looked like Baird was offside, but the referee ruled him on.
Not long after that Picault perfectly picked out Pasher who banged in the equalizer.
As both sides made their adjustments LAFC began to increase their possession inside the Dynamo’s half. Houston had some decent chances on the counter including one that would have seen Ari Lassiter go 1v1 with the LAFC keeper, but Pablo Sisniega was well off his line and headed the ball to safety.
Picault tried his luck in the 82nd minute. The substitute Darwin Cerén brilliantly switched the ball to the other side of the field and set up Picault. His run gave him some space on his defender into the box, but his shot, though not lacking power, was easily saved.
After 90 minutes and stoppage time the score would be level at a goal each. Even though the LAFC goal didn’t feel totally earned since – at least by my judgment – it appeared offside, the result felt earned. Neither had really done enough to feel like they deserved all three points and some of that was due to the nature of the weather. A damp day with a slick field sometimes makes for sloppy soccer and you have to grind out to get points and neither team did enough, at least in my view. It was a quick succession of goals that defined the day.
Up next for the Dynamo is an early afternoon game next Saturday on May 8th where the Dynamo will be in the first derby of 2021 against FC Dallas at 2:30 PM CT.
55’ LAFC: Corey Baird (assisted by Latif Blessing)
57’ HOU: Tyler Pasher (assisted by Fafà Picault)
29’ LAFC: Jesús David Murillo (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundkvist, Oscar Boniek García , Tim Parker, Zarek Valentin; Matías Vera, Memo Rodríguez (59’ Darwin Cerén), Joe Corona (70’ Derrick Jones); Tyler Pasher (59’ Darwin Quintero), Maxi Urruti (71’ Ariel Lassiter), Fafà Picault (90’+4 Christian Ramirez)
LAFC (4-3-3): Pablo Sisniega; Diego Palacios (85’ Tristan Blackmon), Eddie Segura, Jesús David Murillo, Marco Farfan; Latif Blessing, Mark-Anthony Kaye (76’ Danny Musovski), Eduard Atuesta; Kwadwo Opoku (57’ José Cifuentes), Diego Rossi, Corey Baird (86’ Bryce Duke)