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Late push not enough in Texas Derby as the Houston Dynamo draw FC Dallas

The Dynamo can’t replicate their very positive first half as they let Dallas back in the second half. A late push saw them equal, but wasn’t enough for the win.

MLS: FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Dynamo FC was hoping to snap its winless streak in their Texas Derby fixture with FC Dallas coming to BBVA Stadium. After a 1-0 first half, the Dynamo allowed two quick goals and looked deflated. They were able to push for an equalizer, but it wasn’t enough after 90 minutes as the game would end in a 2-2 draw.

The Dynamo opened the game with a lot of early pressure likely channeling some of their 2nd half performance from their midweek game against Real Salt Lake. Griffin Dorsey had a nice run down the wing, but ultimately ran out of ideas as he approached the end line. Overall the pressure up the field led Dallas to rely on counter attacks for their possession. Defensively the Dynamo pinned FCD in their own half as the midfield and defense did a good job of winning the ball as Dallas tried to transition the ball up the field.

In the 13th minute Dorsey made a run right at goal and was brought down by Freddy Vargas just in front of the 18 yard box. Maxi Urruti stepped up to take the chance, but his strike was denied by the FC Dallas wall.

In the 23rd minute Fafà Picault would get the Houston Dynamo on top. A long ball to Picault out wide was played and Picault took a great first touch around his defender. He dribbled into the box and even though he had Coco Carrasquilla open, he opted to go for it by himself. He bungled the run with a heavy touch, but recovered nicely and was brought down resulting in a penalty. Picault stepped up and sent Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer the wrong way. 1-0 Houston.

Houston nearly doubled their lead in the 32nd minute. Very good 1-2 passing by Carrasquilla, Matías Vera, and Urruti put Urruti on goal. The angle to score was tight and the shot would fly just wide of goal, but it was excellent combination passing that set up the shot that has been lacking.

Dallas had its first opportunity before the 40th minute as the Dynamo struggled to clear the ball leading in Dallas getting the ball and Ryan Hollingshead trying his luck from distance, but the shot went wide. On the other end, Houston had another close chance. Adam Lundkvist had the ball on the left wing and whipped in a great cross intended for Vera. Vera was completely unmarked, but unfortunately his header would go over the top.

The Dynamo would go into halftime with the 1-0 lead. The first half was dominated by Houston in control with them holding the majority of possession in Dallas’s half of the field, but the team still had trouble producing quality shots on target. Despite some of the creative troubles, they did well to limit Dallas’s possession in Houston’s half.

Dallas got the equalizer in the 54th minute following a corner kick. The ball was swung into Ricardo Pepi who took a touch and flashed a ball across goal, but it was cleared off the line by Teenage Hadebe. Unfortunately, it fell to Nkosi Tafari who blasted it passed Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Marić. 1-1.

Things went from bad to worse for the Dynamo in the 58th minute with Dallas taking the lead after a poor clearance out of the back was capitalized on. Jesús Ferreira got the ball and drew the defenders to him and he slotted the ball over to Pepi who made it 2-1 to the visitors.

Houston got the equalizer in the 72nd minute following several possession changes in the midfield. Eventually Zarek Valentin would get the ball and noticed the run of Vera and played a great through ball to the midfielder. Vera took his space and fired a shot from distance and beat Jimmy Maurer in the lower corner.

For much of the second half the Dynamo weren’t getting their full backs as high up the field resulting in more space for Dallas to exploit leading to extended possession by the visitors in the Dynamo half. The Vera goal energized the team and had Houston fighting harder as they increased their possession and chances to get the lead.

Despite the late energy, the final score would be 2-2 and the Dynamo winless streak would be extended to 14 games. The first half was encouraging as the team didn’t come out asleep as they had done the previous two matches, and even though they looked sharp winning the ball and keeping the ball in Dallas’s half, they lacked creativity on offense and only got the one goal. The second half there were mistakes, but Dallas adjusted well as they forced Houston’s center backs to sit deeper giving them more possession in our half. The late push was positive and a game winner would have been lifted a huge weight off the shoulders of this team, but it didn’t happen.

The Dynamo’s next game is still in Houston when Minnesota United come to town next Saturday on August 28th at 7:30 PM CT.


25’ HOU: Fafà Picault (penalty)

54’ FCD: Nkosi Tafari

58’ FCD: Ricardo Pepi (assisted by Jesús Ferreira)

72’ HOU: Matías Vera (assisted by Zarek Valentin)


15’ FCD: Edwin Cerrillo (yellow card)

30’ FCD: Szabolcs Schön (yellow card)

65’ FCD: Bryan Acosta (yellow card)

82’ HOU: Maxi Urruti (yellow card)

83’ FCD: Matt Hedges (yellow card)

90’+1’ HOU: Darwin Cerén (yellow card)


Houston Dynamo (4-1-2-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundkvist, Teenage Hadebe, Tim Parker, Zarek Valentin; Darwin Cerén; Matías Vera, Adalberto Carrasquilla (74’ Ariel Lassiter); Griffin Dorsey, Maxi Urruti, Fafà Picault

FC Dallas (4-2-3-1): Jimmy Maurer; Ryan Hollingshead, Bressan (6’ José Martínez 69’ Matt Hedges), Nkosi Tafari, Ema Twunmasi; Bryan Acosta, Edwin Cerrillo; Szabolcs Schön (58’ Kalil ElMedkhar), Jesús Ferreira, Freddy Vargas (HT Jáder Obrian); Ricardo Pepi