Don’t be fooled by the 2-1 final score…it was never really that close.
The match got off to a “great” start with an inexplicable decision by Jorge Gonzalez to deny the Dynamo a clear advantage and instead whistle play dead for a free kick. His quick whistle cost Houston a 2 on 1 break on goal. Yet another example of the incompetence of USSF officials and how find new and better ways to drag down the level of play in MLS week in, week out.
While Toronto was able to generate a few good chances, along with a couple that tested Tally Hall, the Dynamo didn’t seem all that dangerous in the final third. Despite having several good build-ups, they all fizzled thanks to less than stellar crossing.
Sergio Koke was very active in the first half, being allowed to move around the pitch and drop back in to the midfield to pick up the ball and move forward. Within the first 15 minutes or so, Koke had at least one run of possession on the left and right sides of the pitch. If anything, you got the feeling that Koke wasn’t seeing near enough of the ball.
Koke was clearly frustrated by the referee on several occasions though as Gonzalez did his best to destroy the flow of the match by whistling ticky-tack fouls and allowing obvious, harder fouls to go unpunished. It’s the same type of behavior that helped lead to Javier Morales’ injury earlier in the day in Salt Lake.
There really wasn’t much else to discuss from the first half as neither team was passing very well and were unable to get in to any kind of rhythm both due to poor play and generally piss poor officiating.
The Dynamo got themselves in trouble early in the second half. After Eddie Robinson’s pass was intercepted by Nick Soolsma, the Toronto forward dribbled in to the box and was barely contacted by Andre Hainault. Soolsma went down like he’s been hit by a sniper and conned the officials in to awarded a penalty. Rookie Joao Plata scored the PK, giving Toronto a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute.
Really strange moment in the 61st minute when Plato broke down the wing and Tally Hall came in and poked the ball away from Plato. Initially, the referee carded Hall and awarded a PK, but after talking with his assistant referee, he reversed his decision. Replays showed it was the right choice as Hall got to the ball first and Plato dived.
Toronto got their second goal to finish off the Dynamo as Joao Plata made an excellent pass to find Santos who beat Tally Hall. Poor defending really.
The Dynamo finally got on the board in the 87th minute. Nice play by Je-Vaughn Watson to find Lovel Palmer who fired a nice shot past Toronto keeper Stefan Frei. Despite the late rally, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Toronto lead and the match finished 2-1.
Why it took a two goal deficit for the Dynamo to finally wake up shows there are still issues with this team. Instead of continuing to improve, the Dynamo are in full reverse, making mistakes and showing all the same tendencies that haunted them throughout the 2010 season. Still a lot of work for the team to do this season to truly be considered a playoff contender.
Match report from Dynamo Theory.