Dynamo win, lose, and tie in Day 2 action

Gregorian scores late goal in win over Slavia Prague

HOU_20110608_Holland_5_Raffi_Gregorian

Photo Credit: 
Ernest Moreno / Houston Dynamo

The Dynamo Academy played three games Sunday in the Eurovoetbal tournament, earning a draw against Feyenoord, a loss against Groningen, and a win over Slavia Prague in the final game of the day. With the results, the Dynamo have five points through four games and still have an outside chance to finish in the top two of their division and advance to the tournament semifinals tomorrow afternoon. A win in their final game would most likely send Houston to the fifth-place match.

After last night's 0-0 draw against PSV Eindhoven, the Dynamo were looking to shake off the nerves and put some goals in the net against Feyenoord. Lorenzo Salazar had a chance to put Houston up early in the 10th minute, but his left-footed striked was saved easily by goalkeeper Michael Franken. Salazar had another opportunity minutes later after receiving a pass from Bryan Celis toward the top of the penalty box. Salazar attempted to one-time the shot into the upper-right hand corner but curled it just over the crossbar.

Although the Dynamo had the better opportunities in the first half, Feyenoord came out firing in the second half. In the 21st minute, a Feyenoord forward received the ball between two Dynamo defenders, turned, and fired high past the Dynamo goal. Dynamo goalkeeper Juan Navarrete made two saves in the match, including one in the 35th minute that could have won the game for the Dutch club. With only five minutes to go in the game, Joey Sleegers snuck into the Dynamo box and fired a left-footed strike that was heading into the lower right-hand corner of the net. Navarrete dove to his left and got his fingertips on the ball, knocking it away and preserving the team's clean sheet.

Similar to Saturday night, the Dynamo had a golden opportunity to come away with a victory in the final seconds of the match. This time it was Gabriel Moreno, who ran onto a pass in the Feyenoord penalty box and attempted to one-time the shot with his left foot. The ball took off on Moreno and sailed past the net, leaving the Dynamo with their second consecutive scoreless draw.

Houston falls to hometown club

In Houston's second match of the day, the Dynamo faced the host club and defending champion, FC Groningen. Groningen pressured the Dynamo defense early, earning two corner kicks in the first five minutes of the match. In the third minute, Groningen's corner kick was cleared to Aleksandar Jankovic, who fired a rocket that just missed the Dynamo net.

Moreno made his first start for the Dynamo in the tournament and came close to setting up an early goal. In the 15th minute, Moreno made a run down the left wing and sent in a cross that rolled across the Groningen penalty area before being cleared away for a Dynamo corner kick. Two minutes later, midfielder Miguel Zapata picked up a loose ball in the Groningen six-yard box and fired into the net, but the lineman ruled Zapata offside.

Groningen finally broke through in the 27th minute. Midfielder Glenn Bijl sent an arching cross into the Dynamo six-yard box. Two Dynamo defenders went for the ball, but neither could clear it. The ball landed in front of Groningen's Hans Hateboar, who hit the bouncing ball past Navarrete to snap the Dynamo's streak of 107 minutes in tournament play without conceding a goal.

For the third straight game, the Dynamo had a late goal-scoring opportunity, this time to tie the match. In the 37th minute, Lorenzo Salazar picked up a loose ball 35 yards out, dribbled into the left corner of the 18-yard box, and sent the ball across the goal. The ball slid just out of the reach of a sliding Alan Arellano, but second-half substitute Bryan Salazar was in position to put the ball away. Salazar could not get a clean shot off and sent the ball high and wide of the net.

Dynamo net first win of tournament

In Houston's final match of the day, the boys in orange (although wearing white) took on Czech club Slavia Prague, which was coming off a 2-0 defeat of Brazilian club Botafogo. It was a do-or-die match for Houston, as a loss or tie would knock the Dynamo out of semifinal contention.

Houston's first opportunity of the match came in the 24th minute, when Arellano sent the ball down the left wing to Lorenzo Salazar. Salazar blew past his defender and into the 18-yard box, but goalkeeper Ondrej Voska did well to cut of the angle and stop the Dynamo forward's attempt.

With its back against the wall, Houston broke through for its first goal of the tournament. Raffi Gregorian began the play with a 20-yard pass to Salazar inside Prague territory. Salazar spun around a defender, took the ball into the corner, and crossed the ball into the box. Isaiah Noreiga's initial strike hit off the right post, but Gregorian followed the play and was there to finish to give the Dynamo their first goal and win of the tournament. After the goal, Gregorian ran straight to the bench and hugged teammate Leo Ayala, who will miss the rest of the tournament due to a sprained ankle.

With the win, Houston now has five points through four games. Depending on results from other Sunday matches, the Dynamo will need to defeat Botafogo Monday morning and have other results go their way to earn a place in the semifinals. Tomorrow's match against Botafogo kicks off at 11 a.m. local time (4 a.m. CT).

Hear from Raffi Gregorian

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Houston Dynamo 0, Feyenoord 0
June 12, 2011 -- Groningen, the Netherlands
Eurovoetbal 2011

Scoring Summary:

Misconduct Summary:
HOU -- Raffi Gregorian (caution; reckless foul) 25 

 Houston Dynamo -- Juan Navarrete, Christian Gonzalez, Bradley Bourgeois, Leo Ayala (Luis Mendoza 15), Alex Ochoa, Raffi Gregorian (Isaiah Noreiga 27), Miguel Zapata, Bryan Celis (Christian Diaz 33), Raymundo Marquez (Bryan Salazar 31), Alan Arellano (Gabriel Moreno 37), Lorenzo Salazar.

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

Houston Dynamo 0, FC Groningen 1
June 12, 2011 -- Groningen, the Netherlands
Eurovoetbal 2011


Scoring Summary:
FCG 
-- Hans Hateboar (unassisted) 27  

 Houston Dynamo -- Juan Navarrete, Christian Gonzalez (Christian Diaz 40), Bradley Bourgeois, Luis Mendoza, Alex Ochoa, Raymundo Marquez (Bryan Salazar 36), Bryan Celis (Christian Manisck 32), Miguel Zapata, Gabriel Moreno (Raffi Gregorian 30), Alan Arellano (Isaiah Noreiga 38), Lorenzo Salazar.

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

Houston Dynamo 1, Slavia Prague 0
June 12, 2011 -- Groningen, the Netherlands
Eurovoetbal 2011

Scoring Summary:
HOU -- Raffi Gregorian (unassisted) 25 

 Houston Dynamo -- Adam Masa, Christian Gonzalez, Bradley Bourgeois, Luis Mendoza, Alex Ochoa, Isaiah Noreiga (Christian Manisck 37), Bryan Celis (Raffi Gregorian 30), Miguel Zapata (Christian Diaz 35), Raymundo Marquez (Gabriel Moreno 39), Alan Arellano (Bryan Salazar 27), Lorenzo Salazar.

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial