Houston Dynamo FC hoped to get one over on their oldest in-state rivals, FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium in the first game of the Texas Derby. Despite getting the game’s opening goal, it was the home side, Dallas, that were in control of the first half. Their possession in our half of the field coupled with poor turnovers by Houston saw Dallas equalize shortly after the opener. The second half was better by the Dynamo, but neither side was able to break through to win all three points.
Maxi Urruti drew a free kick about 35 yards out within the opening minute of play. Maynor Figueroa, back in the starting lineup for the first time this season, struck the ball with a lot of strength, but it had too much height and was off the mark.
The opening minutes saw the Dynamo pressing high which earned them a couple of decent looks, but none really tested Dallas goalkeeper Phelipe Megiolaro. Following a counter attack that was cut out by Figueroa, Dallas began to get more momentum.
Dallas began to increase their possession inside the Dynamo’s half of the field which limited Houston’s opportunities to counter attacks. However, they hurt themselves often by giving the ball away cheaply. In the 18th minute Ryan Hollingshead got free down the wing and sent in a ball to Franco Jara, but Jara’s one touch tap was wide of the goal.
Before the half hour mark Dallas kept the ball often with the Dynamo really struggling to possess and move the ball up the field. Marko Marić had a good save in the 28th minute. Dallas whipped in a ball towards Andrés Ricaurte who headed the ball with some power, but the Dynamo goalkeeper reacted quickly and made the save. In the next minute a ball was played to Freddy Vargas which put him 1v1 on goal, but Adam Lundkvist did well to position himself to poke the ball free for Marić to claim the ball.
In the 33rd minute the Dynamo had some life with a penalty called in their favor. Memo Rodríguez crossed the ball into the box to Joe Corona. Corona headed the ball, which would’ve gone wide, but was handled by Bressan. Fafà Picault stepped up and converted the game’s opening goal.
The Dynamo lead wouldn’t last long with the home side finding the back of the net in the 42nd minute. A great ball out wide to Bryan Acosta, Acosta played a ball across goal. Marić managed a diving effort in an attempt to push the ball away from danger, but Jáder Obrian was there to put the ball into the open net.
That's how you introduce yourself to the Texas Derby.— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) May 8, 2021
Acosta ➡️ Obrian pic.twitter.com/DwJo0qcq9Y
Maxi Urruti got free on a counter attack following a corner kick by Dallas just before halftime. A ball into space by Matías Vera found Urruti shoulder to shoulder with Acosta, but he had enough space to try his luck on the Dallas goalkeeper. Even though the save was spilled, there weren’t any players nearby to capitalize on the error.
Houston came out more aggressively early into the second half and while their possession still needed to be tidied up, it was a big improvement over the first half. Dallas again responded well by absorbing the pressure and finding room on the counter attack.
Picault earned a free kick just outside the 18 yard box after being pulled down by Bressan. Memo stepped over the ball and sent in a low ball towards the corner of the net, but it was saved by Phelipe Megiolaro. Two minutes later and Urruti was brought down on the side of the 18 yard box resulting in another free kick. Unfortunately Urruti’s service on the set piece was poor and went out for a goal kick.
As the game went on the Dynamo continued to look more in control, but the final pass or touch was missing. Dallas had a very close effort in the 78th minute as a ball was threaded to a possibly offside Obrian, but Marić got low and smothered the ball eliminating the danger.
The Dynamo had a few opportunities just before halftime. The substitute Darwin Quintero squandered an opportunity by blasting a shot from a difficult angle into the stands. Then Urruti outran his defender, but couldn’t get a shot off or put the ball across goal.
The final whistle would blow with both sides level. Dallas was easily the stronger side in the first half made worse by terrible possession decisions by the Dynamo. The second half saw Houston the more aggressive side, but they were still missing the creativity to find a game winner.
Up next for the Dynamo is their first midweek game of the season against Sporting Kansas City back at BBVA Stadium at 8:00 PM CT.
34’ HOU: Fafà Picault (penalty)
42’ DAL: Jáder Obrian (assisted by Bryan Acosta)
44’ HOU: Memo Rodríguez (yellow card)
44’ HOU: Matías Vera (yellow card)
46’ HOU: Joe Corona (yellow card)
54’ DAL: Jáder Obrian (yellow card)
82’ DAL: Bryan Acosta (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundkvist, Oscar Boniek García , Tim Parker, Zarek Valentin; Matías Vera (90’+2’ Oscar Boniek García), Derrick Jones (72’ Darwin Cerén), Joe Corona; Memo Rodríguez (84’ Darwin Quintero), Maxi Urruti, Fafà Picault (84’ Ariel Lassiter)
FC Dallas (4-2-3-1): Phelipe Megiolaro; Ryan Hollingshead, José Martínez, Bressan, Eddie Munjoma; Bryan Acosta, Tanner Tessmann (66’ Szabolcs Schön); Freddy Vargas (57’ Paxton Pomykal), Andrés Ricaurte, Jáder Obrian (84’ Dante Sealy); Franco Jara (66’ Ricardo Pepi)