Dynamo attack stalls against Toronto
The Houston Dynamo will hope this isn’t becoming a trend. Houston failed to get their attack clicking early for the second straight game in a 2-1 loss against Toronto FC at BMO Field on Saturday.
Coming into loud BMO field, the Dynamo understood the importance of winning the possession battle against Toronto's 4-3-3, but for the first 70 minutes of the match, the Dynamo just could not click on the offensive end.
“I’m disappointed,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said after the match. “I think it’s 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.”
Not until they were behind in the final stages of the game did Houston threaten Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei in what would be too little, too late.
After going down 1-0 following a 49th-minute Joao Plata penalty kick, the Dynamo started to press forward and take advantage of a Toronto defense that was looking to deflate the game. Toronto, however, punished the Dynamo as they pushed players forward with a five-man midfield. On a counterattack, Plata fed Maicon Santos, who slotted past Tally Hall in the 81st minute.
After the formation switch, the Dynamo started to pump numbers into the box and provide service – often coming from the right flank and Je-Vaughn Watson who got his second straight start.
Their effort was rewarded when Watson set up fellow Jamaican Lovel Palmer for his first goal of the year in the 87th minute. The goal pumped life into the fading moments of the match, but despite generating a number of chances in the final 20 minutes, the Dynamo’s late push was not enough.
“We had a lot of chances but couldn’t find a way to score,” said midfielder Brad Davis. “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.”
Houston are now riding a two-game losing streak as they seek a solution to their fading attack. It’s a stark contrast from the confidence shown during a six-game unbeaten streak last month.
“We fought back and got that goal back and we pushed for the equalizer, which is a positive to take from the game,” said Andre Hainault, who committed the foul that led to the Plata penalty kick. “But we’ve got to get better overall.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.