Houston Dynamo FC are currently on a three game losing streak in MLS, but are coming off a 2-1 win over former USL affiliate Rio Grande Valley FC Toros in the US Open Cup. The Dynamo will gain confidence and favor of the fans as they looked to knock out USL opponents San Antonio FC in the Round of 32 of the US Open Cup at PNC Stadium. In what was admittedly a pretty dull game from an offensive perspective, the Dynamo were able to advance following a 1-0 win over their in-state opponents.
The early minutes saw the Dynamo control the majority of the possession in the midfield as they navigated the ball well from the back to their forwards, but struggled to really get a good look on goal. The midfield and defense did well though to regain possession quickly from San Antonio and transitioned the ball up the field, but the forwards weren’t quite on the same page to threaten for the opener.
San Antonio had a good opportunity 8 minutes in when they won the ball back utilizing a high press which helped them get the ball just ahead of the Houston 18 yard box, but the Dynamo defense did well to collapse around the San Antonio attacking players and regain possession which was eventually safely cleared away from danger.
The Dynamo had a good chance in the 15th minute when Griffin Dorsey made a long run with the ball up the right side of the field. Dorsey got towards the end line and crossed it in towards Sebastián Ferreira who headed the ball towards goal, but it deflected out off the defender for a corner kick. Sebas wanted a handball on the play as it appeared to glance off Jasser Khmiri’s arm, but center official Nima Saghafi didn’t see the arm in an unnatural position and play continued with the corner.
As the game wore on, San Antonio were able to win a few balls from bad passes in the midfield and quickly transition them, but the Dynamo defense was up to the task to limit the quality of their chances. Houston was very good at winning the ball and pushing into the San Antonio middle third and into the final third of the field, but the disconnect between the midfield and forwards led to the visitors often getting the ball back.
San Antonio had a huge opportunity to get the lead following a set piece when the ball was whipped into Nicky Hernandez. Hernandez flicked the ball across goal to Khmiri who headed the ball back across goal back to Hernandez. Hernandez tried to laser the ball into the net, but it was saved by Dynamo goalkeeper Michael Nelson.
The two sides would go into halftime locked at 0-0. Houston was arguably the stronger side given their slight possession advantage and the way that they moved the ball through the midfield, but neither team truly deserved the lead given how poor the offenses looked. San Antonio looked quick on the counter when they pressed high, but the Dynamo back four made the few chances they had difficult leading to just a single shot on target. Houston on the other hand finished the half with 0 on target which wasn’t too surprising given how off the chemistry appeared higher up the field.
The Dynamo started the second half more aggressive as they looked to press high and play quickly. San Antonio were good at playing compact which made it difficult for the Dynamo to break them down, but the high tempo was definitely appreciated by the Houston fans.
The game began to open up some around the 60th minute. A good through ball by Griffin Dorsey had Sebas Ferreira one touch flick it to Memo Rodríguez who couldn’t get the ball on target in what was a fantastic opportunity to go up. San Antonio responded about 10 minutes later with a long ball over the top forcing Nelson off his line and getting big to deny the first chance. However, the ball wasn’t cleared and came back to Elliot Collier, but his shot drifted well wide of what was an open net.
Houston would get the game opener in the 82nd minute following a corner kick. The ball was played short towards the edge of the 18 yard box to Sam Junqua who delivered a ball into the 6 yard box. Sebas Ferreira beat his man and headed the ball into the goal to put the home side up 1-0.
San Antonio thought they had a legitimate shout for a penalty after Griffin Dorsey appeared to handle a ball inside the penalty box. A ball was crossed in towards goal and Dorsey handled it awkwardly which helped keep the ball out of the goal and despite the pleas, the center official was undeterred and allowed play to go on.
After 90 minutes, the Dynamo would get the win to advance to the next stage of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Houston was the stronger team that controlled the ball better and eventually was able to break through. Neither offense really shined with some glaring errors on that side of the ball aided by poor chemistry, but at the end of the day the only statistic that really matters is the score.
The Houston Dynamo will be back in action for a league match this weekend when they will take on Nashville SC at PNC Stadium at 7:30 PM CT.
82’ HOU: Sebastián Ferreira (assisted by Sam Junqua)
40’ SAFC: Mohammed Abu (yellow card)
42’ HOU: Fafà Picault (yellow card)
42’ SAFC: Fabien Garcia (yellow card)
76’ SAFC: Mitchell Taintor (yellow card)
46’ Fafà Picault off, Beto Avila on
71’ Memo Rodríguez off, Marcelo Palomino on
83’ Sebastián Ferreira off, Thor Úlfarsson on
83’ Thiago off, Tyler Pasher on
90’+4’ Brooklyn Raines off, Tim Parker on
San Antonio FC:
46’ Jordan Ayimbila off, Shannon Gomez on
61’ Nicky Hernandez off, David Loera on
84’ Elliot Collier off, Ates Diouf on
84’ Mohommad off, Deshane Beckford on