The Dynamo needed something special from goalkeeper Tally Hall in the playoffs. Given what they were up against in the series against New York, they had to have their big goalkeeper, who had begun 2013 with a call into Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team camp, be right on top of his game.
At the very least, the Dynamo needed Hall to make all the routine plays – so his first-half blunder was a real crusher. Or … it could have been.
Hall got himself together after gifting the home team an early lead, fumbling a benign cross from the Red Bulls’ right side and providing Bradley Wright-Phillips with the simplest of finishes for an early 1-0 lead. That also gave the Red Bulls, fresh off their best season in MLS, a Supporters Shield winning year, a 3-2 aggregate lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal.
It was an unfortunate gaffe from a typically rock solid ‘keeper in MLS … but if we’re being honest, one who had hardly been at his very best throughout the home-and-away series.
Hall certainly wasn’t at his tip-top on either of New York’s goals Sunday in Houston. He hesitated in coming for Thierry Henry’s cross initially on the visitors’ first goal at BBVA Compass Stadium, so he was slightly out of position as Tim Cahill directed that early header on goal. And he was beaten just a little too easily to the near post on Eric Alexander’s shot that made it 2-0.
Neither was a blunder, exactly; but if you find yourself the decided underdog, you’d just like to see your goalkeeper deliver something special.
Well, deliver Hall did, if perhaps a little late. His pair of one-handed stops Wednesday after the unsightly mistake were huge game-savers. Check that, “series savers.” One came on a ball that Henry aimed toward goal, which changed directions in a flash on Cahill’s deflection.
Later, that same right hand was quick as a flash in pushing away a potential own goal.
Watch below as the big man from saves the Dynamo day; this the better of the two saves: