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Houston Dynamo unable to hold onto early lead, fall to Austin FC

Houston Dynamo FC started the game against Austin FC strong netting a golazo, but were unable to hold onto their lead as they ended up falling 2-1 at PNC Stadium. 

MLS: Austin FC at Houston Dynamo FC Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Dynamo FC were coming off a disappointing Texas Derby loss to FC Dallas last weekend and had the opportunity to take on another Texas opponent, Austin FC, who made their way to PNC Stadium. Unfortunately for the Dynamo it was a Texas two-misstep with another loss to a Texas team, this time a 2-1 loss to ATX.

Very early into the game both sides could’ve taken advantage and gotten a goal in just the second minute. First Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver, well off his line near the half field mark, attempted to play the ball back into the offense. However, Quintero got it and tried to play it off which could’ve led to a long distanced chip. The ball would go to Austin who quickly transitioned and tried to pull a shot at Dynamo keeper Steve Clark, but he made the save and the following play was ruled offside.

It wouldn’t be too much longer before the Dynamo would get on the scoreboard and they would get that half field chip too. Stuver again was way off his line and Sebastián Ferreira gained possession, got his head up, and made the long, long distanced effort and was able to find the back of the net. Unfortunately for Austin fans Brad Stuver would be forced to leave the game due to an injury he suffered attempting to make the save on the play which made way for Andrew Tarbell.

Following the game’s opening goal, el Verde increased their pressure in the Dynamo half of the field creating a couple of close opportunities to equalize. A dispossessed Tim Parker in the back of the field set up a chance by former Dynamo forward Maxi Urruti, but it was easily saved by Steve Clark.

With Austin being a possession team and pushing higher up, it opened room for the home side to counter attack utilizing the speed of its wingers in Fafà Picault and Tyler Pasher. Picault at one moment squared the ball above the 18 yard box to Darwin Quintero who knuckled a shot that bent the wrong way and was saved by Tarbell.

Houston had come close to expanding their lead with Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla floating a ball over the back line after some extended possession by the Dynamo. His pass found the back door run of Tim Parker, but his attempted flick went out for a goal kick. However, Austin responded brilliantly with Ethan Finlay finding room on the Dynamo left side of the field. He crossed it in to an unmarked Daniel Pereira who one touched it into the goal. Clark got a piece of it, but it was still able to beat the veteran goalkeeper.

Just before halftime Clark would make a big save on Diego Fagúndez to keep the game equal as both sides went into their respective locker rooms after 45 minutes + stoppage level. It was a relatively back and forth game with the Dynamo testing the Austin goalkeeper often from counter attacks while Austin controlled the vast majority of possession and continued pressure in the Dynamo half. Houston largely defended well, but if you keep getting chances, eventually the defense will break and that’s what happened in the first half.

The second half started a little more physically with Coco Carrasquilla quickly earning a yellow card followed by a nasty tackle in the 50th minute by Teenage Hadebe on Ethan Finlay also leading to a yellow. Austin continued to control the possession as they pulled the strings in the Dynamo half, but Houston also kept finding space behind to counter.

Houston were able to regain some possession, mostly out of the back, but they looked most dangerous with space in front of them exemplified by a great run by Fafà Picault. Picault drew a foul by Alexander Ring just a few yards from the 18 yard box, but the ensuing free kick was headed straight to goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell.

Following both sides making a pair of changes to the lineup, Austin caught the Dynamo completely flat footed. A quick restart found Fagúndez picking out Sebastián Driussi. Driussi took a few touches and bent a ball into the upper 90 to put the visitors up 2-1.

The Dynamo tried to respond with Griffin Dorsey threading a ball to substitute Corey Baird who came close to finding the net, but was ultimately ruled to be in an offside position.

With the minutes ticking down, Head Coach Paulo Nagamura made three more attacking minded changes during the hydration break allowing for Thiago, Zeca, and Thor Úlfarsson to take the pitch to attempt to push Austin back into their half of the field and try for an equalizer.

Despite the late push, it would be too little too late with Austin getting the victory at PNC Stadium. Houston started the game strong with a stellar opening goal by Sebas – GOTY candidate? – but Austin’s possession based style pushed the Dynamo back and the right side again looked suspect defensively while some of the adjustments before the late push simply didn’t work against the visitors.

The Houston Dynamo will be headed off to our nation’s capitol when they take on D.C. United at Audi Field next Saturday, May 7th at 6:30 PM CT.

Goals:

5’ HOU: Sebastián Ferreira

39’ ATX: Daniel Pereira (assisted by Ethan Finlay)

66’ ATX: Sebastián Driussi (assisted by Diego Fagúndez)

Disciplinary:

36’ ATX: Sebastián Driussi (yellow card)

47’ HOU: Adalberto Carrasquilla (yellow card)

50’ HOU: Teenage Hadebe (yellow card)

62’ ATX: Alexander Ring (yellow card)

88’ HOU: Tim Parker (yellow card)

90’+6’ ATX: Felipe Martins (yellow card)

Lineups:

Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Steve Clark; Adam Lundkvist, Teenage Hadebe, Tim Parker, Griffin Dorsey (77’ Zeca); Adalberto Carrasquilla, Memo Rodríguez (77’ Thorleifur Úlfarsson), Darwin Quintero (65’ Darwin Cerén); Fafà Picault (77’ Thiago), Sebastián Ferreira, Tyler Pasher (65’ Corey Baird)

Austin FC (4-2-3-1): Brad Stuver (9’ Andrew Tarbell); Jon Gallagher, Ruben Garbrielsen, Julio Cascante, Nick Lima; Daniel Pereira (75’ Jhojan Valencia), Alexander Ring (75’ Owen Wolff); Diego Fagúndez, Sebastián Driussi, Ethan Finlay (66’ Felipe Martins); Maxi Urruti (66’ Danny Hoesen)