The first half of the New York Red Bulls and Houston Dynamo game has been absolutely wild. All forty five minutes were filled with action and we saw two penalties, two goals, a red card and two incredible misses.
New York opened up the scoring in the tenth minute when captain Juan Pablo Angel scored off of a Thierry Henry cross. Henry created some space in the corner of the pitch after shaking Dynamo defender Adrian Serioux with a silky move. Henry’s cross was tipped in the box and the defense could not clear the ball away before Juan Pablo Angel scored with a well placed effort.
The Dynamo kept things interesting when they equalized in the 24th minute. After a wild string of play in the midfield that saw Danny Cruz recklessly challenge Roy Miller (and might have been a red card tackle or might have been a dive), Cruz passed the ball to Brad Davis who took a shot on goal. The shot bounced back to Joseph Ngwenya who drew a foul after being tackled in the box by Carlos Mendes. Brad Davis stepped up and blasted in the shot.
The Red Bulls kept bringing the pressure and nearly scored just moments after Davis’ penalty kick. Davis was given a second chance to score again after Brian Ching was brought down by Tim Ream just inside the box. The midfielder stepped up for the penalty only to blast it over the bar and into the stands.
Following Davis’ miss, Thierry Henry broke through the Dynamo defense and had a one-on-one chance with young goalkeeper Tally Hall. Hall made himself big and closed down Henry as much as possible, forcing the legendary striker to shoot just wide of goal.
The drama continued when Lovel Palmer was sent off for a reckless challenge on Carlos Mendes in the 44th minute. While the challenge was tough to see, it looked like a red was harsh and a yellow card would have been more appropriate.
While Palmer’s card was debatable, referee Paul Ward has called a pretty even game for such a physical match.
The second half could be interesting now that Houston is playing a man down, but it seems like this heat will start wearing down the players and the difference in tonight’s match could come down to a substitute coming up big.