We are forty-five minutes in to tonight’s SuperLiga semi-final between Monarcas Morelia and the Houston Dynamo and the match has not disappointed.
Both teams are clearly pushing to score the opening goal, but it is Morelia who have had the better of the chances. On at least two occasions, Miguel Sabah has missed efforts from eight yards out of goal, and, late in the half keeper Tally Hall came up with a huge save when Sabah shot after shaking defender Ryan Cochrane.
Houston have not been without chances, though, and have pushed the ball up along the wings with Corey Ashe and Lovel Palmer leading the attack. Palmer has created a number of potential scoring chances with crosses from the wing and Ashe’s speed has come in handy against Morelia’s pacey squad. The Dynamo’s best chance came in the 45th minute when Brian Mullan crossed to Cam Weaver who headed the ball off of the post.
While Morelia has dominated scoring chances, Houston has been the better at ball possession. Newly acquired midfielder Anthony Obodai controlled play in the middle of the pitch and had decent distribution throughout the half.
Houston’s defense, on the other hand, has looked shaky and is struggling to contend the with pace of Morelia’s forwards and midfielders. Ryan Cochrane got the start ahead of Eddie Robinson, but Cochrane’s lack of pace has been exploited a few times and either Hall has made a save or Boswell and Chabala are forced to move and cover the middle of the back line. Chabala has done a decent job of moving the ball forward, but has created space for a Morelia counterattack when he pushes up the pitch.
Despite all of this, the biggest talking point of the first half has to be the referee. Our head referee has failed to call obvious fouls and has let the game get overly physical. Players are going into challenges late and someone may get hurt if he doesn’t step in and take control of this game.