Miguel Sabah's second half volley was the difference in tonight's SuperLiga semifinal match between the Houston Dynamo and Monarcas Morelia.
Throughout most of the first half, Houton was able to control possession but Morelia dominated scoring chances over the course of the match.
Morelia had multiple scoring chances in the first half but were denied either by fluffed shots or stellar keeping from Tally Hall. Houston's best chance of the half came in extra time when a Cam Weaver header hit the post before bouncing away out of play.
Miguel Sabah quickly made up for missed chances when he struck a volley over Tally Hall's head just over a minute into the second half of play. Sabah created space on the play after Eddie Robinson stepped up to play an offside trap, not realizing that Andrew Hainault was behind him, playing Sabah onside. It was a poor start for Robinson, who had just been subbed on for the Ryan Cochrane, who had a fairly lackluster first half.
Things got chippy later in the match after Richard Mulrooney was slammed to the ground in front of the Dynamo bench. Mike Chabala and Geoff Cameron quickly stepped in and an altercation with the Morelia players ensued. As a result of the melee, Chabala and a Morelia player both received yellow cards.
The Dynamo had a late chance when Lovel Palmer struck from the edge of the box, but his shot went just wide of goal.
For Houston, the only positive to take away from this game is that utility player Geoff Cameron returned to the line-up and played just over twenty minutes. Cameron had been out of action since March 24 when he injured his knee against the Chicago Fire. The return of Cameron gives Houston some more, much-needed depth in both the midfield and defense. Cameron can play either position and, really, could play any position on the pitch. While the coaching staff will be sure to ease him into play before allowing him to play a full game, it was nice just seeing him back on the pitch and getting involved in the action.
Houston now must make a quick transition and get ready for Sunday night's match in Seattle against the Sounders. This is a crucial game for both teams as each is trying to get a positive result to keep the hunt for the playoffs alive.
Morelia will return to Mexico in preparation for a match against Queretaro on Sunday. The Mexican club is set to face the New England Revolution later this month in Foxborough for the championship match of the SuperLiga tournament.
Goals by Period 1 2 Tot
Monarcas Morelia 0 1 1
Houston Dynamo 0 0 0
MOR -- Miguel Sabah 2 (Rafael Marquez Lugo 1) 47
Monarcas Morelia -- Federico Vilar, Luis Silva, Mauricio Romero, Enrique Perez, Adrian Aldrete, Aldo Ramirez (Elias Hernandez 46), Luis Noriega, Hugo Droguett, Jaime Lozano (Miguel Sansores 86), Rafael Marquez Lugo (Adrian Garcia 87), Miguel Sabah (Luis Gabriel Rey 59).
Substitutes Not Used: Jesus Urbina, Jose Cruzalta, Rodolfo Vilchis.
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Andrew Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Ryan Cochrane (Eddie Robinson 46), Mike Chabala, Brian Mullan (Geoff Cameron 71), Anthony Obodai (Richard Mulrooney 71), Lovel Palmer, Corey Ashe, Cam Weaver (Brian Ching 46), Dominic Oduro
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Brad Davis, Francisco Navas Cobo.
Photography courtesy of Katy Umana. For a look at all of Katy's amazing work, please check out her Flickr.