One game in 100 words: At the half, this game was winnable for the Houston Dynamo, trailing 2-1 after Giles Barnes halved the scoreline with his goal. But the explosiveness of FC Dallas contributed against the Dynamo’s hopes in a big way, with the Toros’ offensive attack flying into high gear for the first ten minutes of the second half. Houston controlled 66 percent of possession and were more accurate than Dallas on passes. Some could argue that the final result did not warrant the decent midfield presence of Owen Coyle’s side, but the lack of chances on goal ultimately doomed the Western Conference squad. Dallas moves to first place in the West with the win, while the Dynamo stay put at fifth.
Houston: Giles Barnes 32′
Dallas: Ryan Hollingshead 9′, David Texeira 21′, Mauro Diaz 52′, Fabian Castillo 55′
Three moments that mattered
9’ — Toros get on the board first — A well-aimed backward flick from Fabian Castillo stimulated Ryan Hollingshead on the counter attack, and the rest is history. The UCLA product dribbled forward as Houston’s back line chased him, but he decided to take matters into his own hands and blast a long-range shot that cruised underneath goalkeeper Tyler Deric. Great individual awareness and confidence propelled Dallas off to the near ideal start.
52’ — Diaz’s rockets into the corner — A draw was within reach for Houston at this point in time, but Mauro Diaz had other ideas. The Argentine midfielder weaved through the heart of the Dynamo’s defense on his own, and running side-to-side near the edge of the box, he uncorked an unsaveable strike that zipped into the upper left-hand corner of the net. Home supporters at BBVA Compass Stadium fell silent.
55’ — Castillo widens gap — Surging back from two goals in 45 minutes is within the realm of possibility. With a three-goal lead, though, effective desperation mode becomes very difficult to conduct, and Fabian Castillo certainly knew that. Diaz settled the ball for a couple of seconds near the middle of the pitch, and then fed Castillo sprinting down the left side. The speedy footballer then applied a chipped finish from just outside of the five-yard box.
Houston: Tyler Deric; Kofi Sarkodie, Raul Rodriguez, Jermain Taylor, DaMarcus Beasley; Alexander Lopez (Oscar Garcia 56’), Ricardo Clark, Nathan Sturgis (Luis Garrido 61’), Brad Davis; Giles Barnes, Will Bruin (Rob Lovejoy 61’)
Dallas: Dan Kennedy; Je-Vaughn Watson, Zach Loyd (Walker Zimmerman 32’), Matt Hedges, Moises Hernandez; Kellyn Acosta, Victor Ulloa, Ryan Hollingshead, Mauro Diaz (Tesho Akindele 74’), Fabian Castillo (Alejandro Zendejas 86’); David Texeira