The first half of tonight’s SuperLiga game in Houston was so languid the referee stole the show and has been the most discussable component of tonight’s match so far. Referee Oscar Reyna of Guatemala has been the main story of the first half and has been incredibly inconsistent in his calls and has slowed the game down. No one ever wants to see a referee interject himself in the game, but we are unfortunately seeing that right now. Hopefully, Reyna will swallow his whistle in the second half and let the two teams play.
The action on the field has been pretty quiet but Puebla has looked the most dangerous of the two sides. They may not be starting their best line-up, but the squad looks good and is very quick. Early in the match, Puebla’s forwards were able to exploit the Dynamo back line’s lack of pace and get behind for scoring chances. As the half progressed, Houston’s midfield did a better job of holding up the ball and controlling possession, giving the defense a rest while keeping Puebla away from goal. However, Puebla’s offense has the potency to strike without warning, and, like we have seen throughout the season, Houston has been vulnerable on the counter-attack.
Puebla’s best chance of the half came in the seventh minute when one of the forwards missed a sitter of a header from inside the six that bounced off the pitch and over the goal. The Mexican attack had a few runs get behind Houston’s back line, but the Dynamo defense ultimately was able to shut down the attack and regain possession.
The Dynamo’s best look at goal came in the 37th minute Brad Davis sent a corner kick into the box. Adrian Serioux and Edgar Hernandez battled in the air for the ball and Serioux was able to get his head on it, but the shot was blocked down. He was able to take another shot at goal but it was deflected to Cam Weaver who attempted a bicycle kick but was called for a foul. Houston has been able to mount a few attacks, but build-up play outside the box has been slow, allowing the Puebla defense to track back and shut down any chance of goal.
Ultimately, both teams look like they are playing for the draw. With Puebla already qualified for the next round and Houston only needing a draw, both teams seem to be satisfied seeing this one out as a nil-nil tie.
Check back here for second half highlights and analysis as soon as anything happens.