Ngwenya's brace lifts Dynamo over rivals
The Houston Dynamo defeated their Mexican rivals Pachuca to open SuperLiga group play Thursday night, as a Joseph Ngwenya brace held off the Tuzos 2-1.
The rivalry got off to a flying start, as Pachuca forward Dario
Cvitanich had not one, but three quality chances in the first half,
including two in opening 15 minutes of the game. In the sixth minute,
Cvitanich was one-on-one with Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall, but Hall stoned
Cvitanich. In the 14th minute, Cvitanich had an opportunity from just
inside the top of the box but dragged his effort just wide.
Houston, on the other hand, capitalized on its first opportunity
to score. In the 19th minute, Mike Chabala blasted a shot toward goal with his left foot. The effort deflected off forward Brian Ching
and the ball flew in the direction of Ngwenya, who hit the ball
first-time from about 18 yards out to beat Pachuca goalkeeper Miguel Calero.
The Dynamo defense played too close to the fire much of the night, yielding several quality
chances to their Mexican rivals to close out the first half, but the
Tuzos were unable to convert. In the 25th minute, Ryan Cochrane failed
to clear a ball, and Franco Arizala drove in on goal with the ball.
Again, Hall stood tall and stoned Arizala one-on-one.
Houston’s defense finally got burned in the 51st minute. Jose Francisco Torres and Damian Manso played a perfect give-and-go. Manso received
the ball on the edge of the six-yard box and ripped a shot that slipped
underneath Hall to knot the score at 1-1.
In the 61st minute, Houston looked like it had regained the lead, but
Brian Ching was flagged for offside, nullifying a goal. Danny Cruz
took a Dynamo free kick just outside the penalty area and Calero did
well to save the blast. Ching pounced on the rebound and finished, but
the linesman had signaled for offside - a decision replays revealed to be suspect.
Late in the match, Ngwenya and Calero had to be separated when the Pachuca goalkeeper took
offense to Ngwenya's late attempt at a ball Calero had collected. As
Ngwenya attempted to apologize, Calero pushed him aside. The Dynamo
player, though, got his revenge on Calero in the 85th minute. A Corey
Ashe free kick found Ngwenya at the near post, and his header beat
Calero to put Houston up 2-1.
Pachuca battled back late again through defender Daniel Arreola, who collected a ball from 30 yards out and ripped an effort
that looked destined for the corner of the net. Hall, though, parried
the ball over the crossbar, and the final whistle blew minutes later.
With the victory, Houston moves to first place in the group with
three points, pending the finish of the match between Chivas USA and
Puebla. On Sunday, Robertson Stadium will host a doubleheader, as Houston will take
on Chivas USA in the first game at 7 p.m., with Pachuca and Puebla
squaring off at 9:30 p.m.
Pachuca (0-1-0) vs. Houston Dynamo (1-0-0)
July 15, 2010 -- Robertson Stadium
SuperLiga -- Group A
HOU -- Joseph Ngwenya 1 (unassisted) 19
PAC -- Damian Manso 1 (Jose Francisco Torres 1) 51
HOU -- Joseph Ngwenya 2 (Corey Ashe 1) 85
Pachuca -- Miguel Calero, Paul Aguilar, Javier Munoz Mustafa, Carlos Rodriguez, Daniel
Arreola, Raul Martinez, Jose
Francisco Torres, Braulio Luna (Edy Brambila 46), Damian Manso, Dario Cvitanich
(Luis Montes 66), Franco Arizala (Herculez Gomez 57).
Substitutes Not Used: Rodolfo Cota, Marco Perez,
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Andrew Hainault, Ryan
Cochrane, Eddie Robinson (Bobby Boswell 46), Mike Chabala, Danny Cruz
(Brian Mullan 70), Richard Mulrooney (Adrian Serioux 70), Lovel Palmer,
Brad Davis (Corey Ashe 56), Brian Ching, Joseph Ngwenya.
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Dominic Oduro,
HOU -- Danny Cruz (caution; Reckless Foul) 16
PAC -- Carlos Rodriguez (caution; Reckless Tackle) 48
HOU -- Joseph Ngwenya (caution; Reckless Tackle) 61
PAC -- Paul Aguilar (caution; Tactical Foul) 84
Referee: Jeffrey Solis (CRC)
Referee's Assistants: Marvin Ramirez (CRC); Octavio Jara (CRC)
4th official: Jasen Anno (USA)
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial