Two defensive miscues and a Luis Ángel Landín red card were all that was needed to bury the Houston Dynamo against the LA Galaxy on Saturday night at Robertson Stadium. Edson Buddle had a brace and the Galaxy left Houston with a 2-0 victory.
Watch the full match highlights.
“You can’t spot a team two goals like that, and especially being down a man, expect to come back,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “I thought the defending for both goals was really poor and they took advantage of them. Credit to them. They took advantage of our mistakes and won the game.”
With the victory, the Galaxy continue to put room between themselves and the rest of the Western Conference. For now, Los Angeles is five points clear of the Dynamo after only three games.
Following the match, each Dynamo player was pointing fingers, not at their Dynamo teammates, but instead at themselves and taking blame for their own parts in the defensive miscues.
On the first Galaxy goal in the 27th minute, Dynamo defenders Eddie Robinson and Mike Chabala failed to communicate as to who was going to clear the ball. It was ultimately deflected between the two of them and fell to Buddle, who drove to the end line and beat Dynamo ‘keeper Pat Onstad at the near post.
“The first one for me, from my standpoint, is just a terrible angle to get beat from and you should never get scored on from there,” Onstad said.
“It’s a mistake by me and Chewy [defender Mike Chabala] not talking to each other,” Robinson said. “One other mistake and it’s 2-0. Other than that, Pat had to make one save, it’s frustrating.”
The second goal might have been even more frustrating for the Dynamo defense. Robinson went to clear the ball, but instead it was hit by Buddle. The referee didn’t whistle a foul, however, and the play continued. Defender Bobby Boswell didn’t step up to clear the ball. The play would result in the Galaxy's second.
“I think I have to play that ball a little differently and make a better play on it than I did and we got punished for it," Boswell noted.
If there was a third critical error on the night, it came in the 43rd minute, when Landín went into the corner to track down a ball and earned a red card in the process. Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez screened Landín off the ball and Houston's Designated Player kicked at Gonzalez from behind.
“They had already given me various [elbows],” Landín said. “I reacted in a bad manner. I shouldn’t have reacted that way. Unfortunately I did it, and there are the consequences.”
The 10-man Dynamo deserve credit for pressing hard in the second half before ultimately running out of gas. Midfielders Lovel Palmer, Corey Ashe, Danny Cruz and Brian Mullan’s move to forward provided the team a jumpstart in attack.
In the end it was too little, too late for Houston as the red card and the defensive miscues were too big a hole for the team from which to dig itself out. Robinson vowed to bring an end to the errors.
“Guys make mistakes like that, myself included, and if you want to stay on the team, you can’t do that,” Robinson said. “I’ll doubt we’ll have many mistakes like that again this year, because if you do, there are a lot of good players sitting on the bench that want to play.”