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Second half surge leads Houston Dynamo to victory over the San Jose Earthquakes

A huge second half saw the Dynamo come back from behind to beat the San Jose Earthquakes on the road

MLS: Houston Dynamo FC at San Jose Earthquakes Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Dynamo FC looked to rebound following a midweek loss to Austin FC as they traveled out to the Pacific Coast to PayPal Stadium to take on the San Jose Earthquakes. Even though it was a pretty tame first half in terms of opportunities to score by both sides, the second half saw the Dynamo go down a goal before coming back to win 2-1 in a much more exciting half of soccer.

Following a corner by the San Jose Earthquakes, the Dynamo broke free on the counter attack which unleashed Fafà Picault on a breakaway counter attack early into the fixture. Picault had the space and lead on his defenders with Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski rushing out, but Picault took too many touches and the resulting play led to a Dynamo corner.

The opening tempo for both teams was pretty quick with both sides hastily moving the ball from their respective defenses to their forwards. San Jose had one of their best chances in the 13th minute with Benjamin Kikanovic beating out Tim Parker on the wing to set up a counter of their own. After getting free down the line Kikanovic squared it across goal to Cristian Espinoza. Adam Lundkvist attempted to defend the play, but slipped and Espinoza forced a low save by Houston keeper Steve Clark.

The two exchanged more salvos with neither resulting in a goal before the 20th minute beginning with some quality passing by the Dynamo that had Quintero flick a ball through to Picault, but Picault wasn’t expecting the pass and wasn’t able to threaten to score. Jeremy Ebobisse delivered a great ball towards Kikanovic for the home side, but the ball was just a little in front and went out for a goal kick.

Neither side really threatened too much for the next 10 minutes, but San Jose began to push Houston back into their own half forcing tight passing by the Dynamo and making them attack largely on the counter rather than build anything up through the midfield.

San Jose had a great chance if it weren’t for the heroics of Dynamo keeper Steve Clark in the 41st minute. A long range effort by Paul Marie forced a leaping effort by the MLS veteran. After the first 45 minutes both sides would go into their locker rooms even at 0-0. It was a relatively level half with the Earthquakes finding more rhythm with their pressure late, but with neither able to produce a goal.

The Dynamo came out aggressively to start the second half as they looked to control possession in San Jose’s half of the field. Some great passing saw Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla float a ball back post to Griffin Dorsey whose volley just glanced off the post. Not long after Héctor Herrera had his first chance in Orange to score, but he was off balance and it went high and wide of goal.

Even with the visitors looking the stronger side to start the half, San Jose would get the game’s opener in the 53rd minute following a set piece. Tommy Thompson headed a Cristian Espinoza cross high into the air and Thorleifur Úlfarsson left his man to attempt to clear the ball, but it struck the bar falling to his mark, Jackson Yueill who found the back of the net. 1-0 San Jose.

The Dynamo came close to equalizing a few minutes later with Darwin Quintero finding Picault who ripped a long ranged effort forcing a difficult save by JT Marcinkowski. Houston would get one back not long after that in the 71st minute with the substitute Sebastián Ferreira getting a poacher’s goal after great pressure and service by Picault to make it 1-1.

Tim Parker had a candidate for save of the week with an incredible off the line save. Cristian Espinoza squared a ball across to Jeremy Ebobisse who tried to one touch it into the goal, but a sliding Parker was quick to make the clear and right into the arms of his goalkeeper as well to end the danger.

Not long after though, the Dynamo would take the lead thanks to the rookie Thor Úlfarsson. Ferreira and Quintero did well to pick the ball on the end line and Quintero fed the ball to Thor. He took a touch and played the ball under his defender and curled it into the far corner of the goal to put the visitors up 2-1.

There was a lot of action with Houston initially not content to sit on a one goal away lead as they made attacking minded substitutions that led to a few close chances, notably a breakaway between Sebas and Tyler Pasher. Though as the game got closer to the final whistle, the defense became the priority with San Jose looking to find an equalizer including sending their own goalkeeper up the field on a stoppage time corner.

However, after 90 minutes and stoppage, the Dynamo broke their winless streak and took the full 3 points against the Earthquakes. It was a slow first half in terms of chances to score, but the second half made up for that with goals, shots off the post, and a save off the line. The Dynamo came out the stronger side in the second half playing and the result is represented on the score sheet.

The Dynamo’s road trip will come to a close with their next game being back at PNC Stadium when they take on Minnesota United FC on Saturday July 23rd at 7:30 PM CT.


53’ SJ: Jackson Yueill

71’ HOU: Sebastián Ferreira (assisted by Fafà Picault)

76’ HOU: Thorleifur Úlfarsson (assisted by Darwin Quintero)


28’ HOU: Tim Parker (yellow card)

43’ HOU: Matías Vera (yellow card)

45’: SJ: Jamiro Monteiro (yellow card)

90’ HOU: Fafà Picault (yellow card)


Houston Dynamo:

69’ Sebastián Ferreira on, Matías Vera

80’ Tyler Pasher on, Thorleifur Úlfarsson

80’ Memo Rodríguez on, Darwin Quintero off

90’+1’ Darwin Cerén on, Fafà Picault off

90’+2’ Ethan Bartlow on, Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla off

San Jose Earthquakes

71’ Cade Cowell on, Benjamin Kikanovic off

83’ Jack Skahan on, Eric Remedi off