Dynamo 1, Toronto FC 2 -- postgame notes

Palmer scores first goal of the season in 2-1 loss
GAME NIGHT:
DYNAMO 1, TORONTO FC 2

The Houston Dynamo lost their first road game of the year Saturday night, falling 2-1 to Toronto FC at BMO Field. The loss extends the Dynamo’s winless streak at BMO Field to five games (0-2-3). Houston returns to action Saturday night, playing at Real Salt Lake, in a game nationally televised on FOX Soccer and FOX Deportes.

Neither team was able to muster much offense in the first half of Saturday night’s match. Toronto midfielder Julian de Guzman tested goalkeeper Tally Hall in the 11th minute with a 30-yard strike that Hall deflected away. Minutes before half-time, Dynamo forward Koke curled a free kick over the TFC wall, but goalkeeper Stefan Frei was there to make the save.

Toronto broke through in the second half, when midfielder Jacob Peterson intercepted an Eddie Robinson pass, and before he could reach the Dynamo goal, was clipped from behind by Andre Hainault. Midfielder Joao Plata stepped up to convert the penalty kick to give TFC a 1-0 lead.

Toronto extended their lead in the 81st minute when Plata fed Maicon Santos a thru-ball behind the Dynamo defense. Santos shielded the ball from Corey Ashe and fired a shot past Hall.

The Dynamo pulled one back minutes later when Je-Vaughn Watson found an open Lovel Palmer at the top of the penalty box and Palmer converted past Frei. The goal was Palmer’s first since August 21, 2010, when he scored in a 4-3 win over the Chicago Fire.

Houston outshot Toronto 16-11 for the game, but only five of those attempts were on target.

Houston midfielder Geoff Cameron returned to action tonight and played 90 minutes, after missing Wednesday’s game due to a lower leg contusion.

Forward Koke made his first career start for the Dynamo and led the team with two shots on goal.

The Dynamo played without forwards Calen Carr (concussion) and Brian Ching (L plantar fascitis) and midfielder Danny Cruz (knee hyperextension).

Next Match: Saturday, May 14, 8 p.m. CT, Dynamo at Real Salt Lake, Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah

Next Home Match: Saturday, May 21, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls, Robertson Stadium

HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR

I’m disappointed. I think [Toronto is] a team that if we showed the same urgency for the whole game that we showed in the last 20 minutes, I think it’s a team we could’ve beat. We made a mistake that led to a penalty and then you’re chasing the game. It was a good play by them to break us down for the second goal.

We showed good character fighting back and the clock ran out on us. Some of these goals we’re giving up are very soft and it’s something we need to identify. If a team scores good goals against us you can accept that, but the way we gave up the first goal is definitely our mistake.

I think we showed good character and intensity for the final 20 minutes. Overall, you play the game to win and when you don’t you’re disappointed.

MIDFIELDER BRAD DAVIS

We had a lot of chances but couldn’t find a way to score. Every chance right now teams are getting, they’re scoring, and we go down and can’t score at all. I don’t know how many balls we sent into the box but we can’t finish.

DEFENDER ANDRE HAINAULT

We were frustrated at the end. We gave up the penalty and were down 1-0. We were then chasing the game and we got exposed at the back. They got that chance and made us pay right away.

We fought back and got that goal back. We pushed for the equalizer, which is a positive to take from the game, but we’ve got to be better overall.