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Houston Dynamo unable to hold onto lead in loss to FC Dallas

It was a solid first half effort to get the lead going into halftime, but the Houston Dynamo weren’t able to fend off FC Dallas who battled their way back for the 2-1 win. 

MLS: Houston Dynamo FC at FC Dallas Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a midweek US Open Cup win, Houston Dynamo FC hoped to extend their five game unbeaten run in the first Texas Derby of the year when they traveled up I-45 to take on FC Dallas. Despite starting the game strong and going into the half with the lead, Dallas made an excellent run in the second half to not just equalize, but win the game 2-1 in front of their home fans.

The very early minutes had the Dynamo attempt to control the game utilizing quick possession out of the back and getting it out wide while combining well with the midfielders. Dallas tried to impose their physical presence to slow Houston down which led to a 2nd minute yellow card for Marco Farfan for a big tackle in the back on Tyler Pasher.

Houston would have the best chance in just the 6th minute which should’ve gone in if the shot wasn’t poorly hit. Some excellent combination play saw Quintero play it to Fafà Picault who squared it to a wide open Tyler Pasher. Pasher had a tap in, but sent it well over the top of the goal.

Where Dallas found room to operate their offense came from the counter attack as the Dynamo occasionally threw numbers forward to try and get an opener to set the tone of the game. FCD was able to win back the ball and find space in the midfield to try their luck to no avail.

As the clock got closer to the 30th minute you saw the home side begin to increase their possession with Houston’s early pressure tiring them, but the Dynamo made it difficult for Dallas. They were able to win possession back in their defensive third and try to counter themselves which kept Dallas from committing too many numbers forward.

The Dynamo would get the game’s opening goal after regaining some of the momentum and possession. Houston did well to move the ball out to the wing to Adam Lundkvist who played it into the box. Sebastián Ferreira took a touch to control it and volleyed it passed Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes to put the visitors up 1-0.

The game would increasingly become physical before halftime, but Houston would go into the half with the 1-0 lead. It was a relatively back and forth game, but the Dynamo appeared to win the ball in their half slightly more effectively while advancing the ball to create chances better.

The second half began with a bit of the same physicality that we saw towards the end of the half with the center official content to let play go on most of the time. Play was quick through the midfield by both teams and the defenses were able to absorb the pressure.

Houston thought they had doubled their lead in the 55th minute after Fafà Picault drew a foul at the top of the 18 yard box. Halftime substitute Memo Rodríguez who came on for Darwin Quintero stood over the ball and delivered a great shot. The ball hit the top of the bar and appeared to bounce down beyond the goal line to put Houston up 2-0. However, the center official decided no goal and did not review with VAR.

Dallas responded well with some quality attempts of their own, but were unable to beat Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark. First a long ball was played to Jesús Ferreira, but Steve Clark was alert and headed the ball to himself outside of the box and cleared it. Moments later Alan Velasco cut inside and rifled a low shot hoping to equalize the game, but Clark got low and sent the ball out for a corner.

The home side continued their push for an equalizer first some excellent combination play from the top of the Dynamo 18 led to a one touched cross towards the middle of the six yard box, but the ball was headed out for a corner to Dallas. Then Franco Jara on the corner tried his luck, but Clark again was able to intervene and keep FCD off the score sheet. Jesús Ferreira tried a long distanced chance but was also denied by Clark.

Memo had an opportunity to really put the game away in the 84th minute after a brilliant flick on by Picault. Memo took his touches to go 1v1 with Maarten Paes, but Memo took too long and Paes made a huge save.

Moments after Franco Jara struck the post, Dallas was able to finally equalize after having firmly taken control of the momentum and possession with Houston sitting deeper. A ball was played into the box from out wide and Houston was unable to clear it while Clark couldn’t cleanly handle it. The result was a clumsy goal for substitute Tsiki Ntsabeleng, but it counted just the same.

Things would go from bad to worse for the visitors with Dallas taking the lead in stoppage time. With the confidence coming from the equalizer along with a lot of momentum on their side, the home side was able to convert from a corner kick with Facundo Quignón somehow free back post to make it 2-1 to Dallas.

The final whistle would blow and Dallas would win the first round of the Texas Derby. Houston came out strong and deserved their lead going into halftime. They stayed aggressive early, but sank deeper on their lead which let Dallas play their way to not just the equalizer, but a game winner.

The Houston Dynamo return home next weekend to face another Texas foe, this time Austin FC on April 30th at 12:30 PM CT.


33’ HOU: Sebastián Ferreira (assisted by Adam Lundkvist)

87’ FCD: Tsiki Ntsabeleng

90’+3’ FCD: Facundo Quignón


2’ FCD: Marco Farfan (yellow card)

35’ HOU: Griffin Dorsey (yellow card)

71’ FCD: Edwin Cerrillo (yellow card)

78’ HOU: Adalberto Carrasquilla (yellow card)

90’+2’ HOU: Ethan Bartlow (yellow card)

90’+5’ FCD: Facundo Quignón (yellow card)


Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Steve Clark; Adam Lundkvist, Ethan Bartlow, Tim Parker, Griffin Dorsey; Adalberto Carrasquilla (90’+4’ Sam Junqua), Matías Vera (68’ Darwin Cerén), Darwin Quintero (HT Memo Rodríguez); Fafà Picault, Sebastián Ferreira (77’ Thorleifur Úlfarsson), Tyler Pasher (76’ Corey Baird)

FC Dallas (4-3-3): Maarten Paes; Marco Farfan, José Martínez, Matt Hedges, Ema Twumasi (84’ Joshué Quiñónez); Paxton Pomykal (67’ Franco Jara), Edwin Cerrillo (84’ Facundo Quignón), Brandon Servania (84’ Tsiki Ntsabeleng); Alan Velasco, Jesús Ferreira, Paul Arriola