Led by Tally Hall's great goalkeeping and Joseph Ngwenya’s clinical finishing, the Houston Dynamo snatched three points from Pachuca as they opened SuperLiga 2010 group play with a 2-1 win on Thursday night.
“It was a tough game for us, but I’m glad we stuck to it and came out with a win,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “More chances for us came on dead balls, and a lot of their stuff came off [the] run of play. Their movement is so good and, on a hot night like this, if you let your concentration drop a little bit, they will take advantage of it.”
Houston got the victory, but Pachuca enjoyed long stretches where they owned the better of the play. Had it not been for the Tuzos failing to finish more of their opportunities and, most importantly, Hall’s great saves, the Dynamo could have easily been down by multiple goals at the half.
“I just tried to stay on my feet and make them beat me,” said Hall, who stoned Pachuca on several one-on-one chances. “I thought I put myself in good spots, and they kicked it at me for the most part. That was nice of them.”
Houston, as opposed to Pachuca, was much more clinical in its finishing. Case and point: Ngwenya finished his only two chances of the night.
“I had the feeling [Ching and Ngwenya] were going to win [it for us] the whole time,” noted Hall. “They came through when it mattered, and we came out with a win. They won the game for us.”
“I’m happy to score goals,” said Ngwenya. “But, overall, it was a great team effort. I think … Tally kept us in the game with some amazing saves.”
While Houston players and coaches spoke highly of their opponents after the match, Pachuca head coach Guillermo Rivarola was disappointed with the Dynamo’s approach to the game.
“I think they never wanted to play, never wanted to play,” said Rivarola. “The game started, and I think they just wanted the minutes to elapse, and they found two errors of ours and they won the game.”
Ngwenya, who was feisty the entire night, responded to Rivarola’s statement: “He’s entitled to his opinion. I am just happy that we won. All the rest of the talk -- it doesn’t matter. Anybody can say whatever they want. Talk is cheap.”
The Dynamo, tied for first place in Group A with Puebla, will face off against Chivas USA at Robertson Stadium on Sunday, July 18, in a match that could possibly seal a semifinal berth for the Texas club.