Pachuca put a damper on Houston’s hopes of advancing by stealing a road win thanks to a first-half goal from Edgar Benitez. The Dynamo completely dominated the first half, but their best chance was a Brian Mullan shot off the post, and they could not break the Pachuca back line.
The Houston Dynamo fell to Pachuca of Mexico 1-0 Wednesday night in CONCACAF Champions League play at Robertson Stadium. With the loss, the Dynamo are in third place in Group A with seven points, trailing Pachuca (12 points) and Árabe Unido (10 points). The Dynamo face Salvadoran club Isidro Metapán (0-5, -17 goal differential) on the road on October 21. If Houston wins and Pachuca beats Árabe Unido, the Dynamo will advance to the quarterfinals. Any other combination of results will eliminate the Dynamo.
Houston is back in action on Sunday, hosting the Kansas City Wizards at Robertson Stadium at 2 p.m. with a chance to clinch a playoff spot with a win.
The Dynamo dominated the first 60 minutes of the game but fell behind in the 23rd minute when Juan Carlos Rojas served in a ball from the right, and Edgar Benitez settled with his chest at the penalty spot before firing a low shot past Pat Onstad. It was Benitezs fourth goal of the Champions League and his second against the Dynamo.
Houston had several outstanding chances in the first half, including two shots from Brian Mullan that forced saves and a 25-yard rocket from Mullan in stoppage time that hit the post. Houston had five corner kicks in the first half and eight for the game but could not capitalize.
In the second half, Dynamo midfielder Corey Ashe had several chances snuffed out by Pachuca goalkeeper Miguel Calero and his defenders. Pachuca substitutes Jose Francisco Torres, Christian Gimenez, and Jaime Correa helped Pachuca take control of the game and maintain its 1-0 advantage in the second half.
The home loss was the second of the year for the Dynamo, both by 1-0 scores, and the first time Pachuca has beaten the Dynamo in Houston. The Tuzos now lead the all-time series between the teams 3-2-1.
Defender Eddie Robinson made his 100th career appearance for the Dynamo when he came on as a second-half sub. Other players to hit career landmarks include Brad Davis (110th Dynamo start), Stuart Holden (90th professional start), and Geoff Cameron (50th Dynamo start).
The Dynamo played without forward Luis Angel Landín (cup-tied); midfielder Danny Cruz (U.S. U-20 national team); and defender Richard Mulrooney (disabled list).
Before the game, the Dynamo and Pachuca honored Houston soccer pioneer Victor Delgadillo, who passed away Saturday due to cancer, with a moment of silence.
Pachuca (4-1-0) vs. Houston Dynamo (2-2-1)
September 30, 2009 -- Robertson Stadium, Houston TX
PAC -- Edgar Benitez 4 (Juan Carlos Rojas 1) 23
Pachuca -- Miguel Calero, Leobardo Lopez, Raul Martinez, Javier Munoz, Carlos Rodriguez, Juan Carlos Rojas, Gabriel Caballero (Jaime Correa 68), Luis Montes, Damian Manso (Jose Francisco Torres 52), Ulises Mendivil, Edgar Benitez (Christian Gimenez 59).
Substitutes Not Used: Damian Alvarez, Edy Brambila, Rodolfo Cota, Braulio Godinez.
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Andrew Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Wade Barrett (Corey Ashe 46), Brian Mullan, Ricardo Clark, Stuart Holden, Brad Davis (Eddie Robinson 71), Brian Ching (Cam Weaver 68), Dominic Oduro.
Substitutes Not Used: Mike Chabala, Ryan Cochrane, Tally Hall, Craig Waibel.
PAC -- Miguel Calero (caution; Delaying a Restart) 38
PAC -- Edgar Benitez (caution; Dissent) 49
PAC -- Leobardo Lopez (caution; Delaying a Restart) 55
PAC -- Jaime Correa (caution; Delaying a Restart) 88
HOU -- Brian Mullan (caution; Reckless Tackle) 94+
Referee: Roberto Moreno (PAN)
Referee's Assistants: Daniel Williamson (PAN); Rey Mendoza (PAN)
4th official: Baldomero Toledo
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial