Dynamo 2, Pachuca 1 - postgame notes

Houston breaks six-game winless streak against Mexican clubs in competition

HOU_20100715_Levey_1

Photo Credit: 
Bob Levey / Getty Images

The
Houston Dynamo pulled out a dramatic 2-1 victory over Mexican rival Pachuca
Thursday night at Robertson Stadium, starting SuperLiga with a bang thanks to
two goals from Joseph Ngwenya and a big night from goalkeeper Tally Hall.

The
win puts Houston in first place in Group A, pending the outcome of tonight’s
second game between Pachuca and Puebla. All four Group A teams will be at
Robertson Stadium on Sunday night for the second round of games. The top two
teams advance to the SuperLiga semifinals.

Houston’s
win evened the all-time series with Pachuca at 3-3-1 after the Dynamo lost both
games against Pachuca last year. The rivalry is typically described as the most
competitive between an American and a Mexican team.

The
Dynamo took the lead in the 19th minute, when a long-range shot from Mike
Chabala
deflected high into the air near the edge of the penalty area, and
Joseph Ngwenya rifled a right-footed volley into the right side netting.

Houston
goalkeeper Tally Hall, making his fourth competitive start of the season, had a
huge night for the Dynamo and stopped several one-on-one opportunities in the
first half, including a save on Franco Arizala in the 25th minute. Hall
finished with four saves to earn his fifth win for Houston in the last two
seasons.

Pachuca
tied the game in the 51st minute when Longview, Texas native and U.S.
international Jose Francisco Torres played a through ball into the box, and
midfielder Damián Manso one-timed it past Hall.

Houston
almost responded in the 61st minute, as Danny Cruz rifled a left-footed free
kick on target, and Pachuca goalkeeper Miguel Calero dove to his left to make
the save. Brian Ching fired in the rebound but was controversially ruled
offside; replays showed Ching appeared to be onside.

The
Dynamo finally got the breakthrough in the 85th minute, when Corey Ashe bent in
a free kick from the left corner, and Joseph Ngwenya pulled off his marker to
head the ball in at the near post from the edge of the six-yard box. It was
Ngwenya’s third goal of the season and his third career SuperLiga goal. The
Dynamo have now scored six of their 10 all-time goals against Pachuca in the
last 15 minutes.

The
Dynamo improved to 6-1-3 all-time in SuperLiga and 12-3-4 all-time at home in
international play, with a 5-3-3 mark at home against Mexican clubs. Houston’s
all-time international record stands at 13-9-10. The win snapped a six-game
winless streak for Houston in competitive matches against Mexican teams.

Midfielder
Brian Mullan made his 27th career appearance in international competition for
Houston, tying current assistant coach Wade Barrett for the club record.
Midfielder Corey Ashe earned his fifth career assist in international
competition, tying three other players for second in club history behind Brian
Ching
, who has six.

Midfielder
Richard Mulrooney made his 100th career appearance for the Dynamo in all
competitions and his 90th total start for the club.

Next
Game: Sunday, July 18, 7 p.m., Dynamo vs. Chivas USA, Robertson Stadium
(SuperLiga Group A)

Next
MLS Game: Saturday, July 31, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls,
Robertson Stadium