The Houston Dynamo and Chivas USA battled to a 1-1 draw on Sunday night, as Lovel Palmer’s early goal was ultimately canceled out by a Jesus Padilla header off a set piece in the second half.
Houston came out of the locker room with purpose to start the game. In the very first minute, a Cam Weaver dummy resulted in Dominic Oduro running in on goal. Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, though, was quick off his line and made a great save to keep the match scoreless.
The Dynamo's early pressure paid dividends just moments later. In the sixth minute, Oduro broke behind the defense near the right corner. He slid the ball back across the box and it deflected to an open Palmer, who easily finished from 15 yards out to give Houston an early 1-0 lead.
The remainder of the first half turned ugly, as the game turned very physical. Three yellow cards were given out, including one for an Andrew Hainault foul on Jonathan Bornstein. The Chivas USA captain continued to play for a short time before ultimately being replaced by Jesus Padilla.
The subsitute had his team’s best chance just moments later. In the 28th minute, Giancarlo Maldonado fed Padilla in on goal, but Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall came off his line quickly to stone Padilla as Houston entered the half with a 1-0 lead.
Padilla, though, had the last laugh in the 71st minute. Recent Chivas USA acquisition Rodolfo Espinoza notched his second assist in two games when he sent in a beautiful corner kick that found Padilla unmarked in front of goal. Padilla calmly headed the ball past Hall to pull Chivas USA even at 1-1.
Houston had two fantastic chances to go ahead less than a minute apart in the 76th minute. First, Weaver fed Palmer behind the Chivas USA defense, but Kennedy again was quick off his line and saved Palmer’s effort well. Moments later, Adrian Serioux sent in a cross that found Joseph Ngwenya in front of goal, but Ngwenya’s header glanced just wide.
In stoppage time, Weaver had his own chance to play hero, as a Danny Cruz cross resulted in a collision between Kennedy and his defense. The ball surprisingly fell to Weaver in front of an open net, but the Dynamo forward’s off-balance shot bounced and went over the crossbar, and the game ended 1-1.
With the tie, Houston currently sits in first place atop SuperLiga Group A with four points, pending the results of the Pachuca-Puebla game later Sunday night. All four teams take the field for the final game in the group stage of the 2010 SuperLiga on Wednesday night, with Houston hosting Puebla and Chivas USA hosting Pachuca.
Chivas USA (0-1-1) vs. Houston Dynamo (1-0-1)
July 18, 2010 -- Robertson Stadium, Houston TX
SuperLiga -- Group A
HOU -- Lovel Palmer 1 (unassisted) 6
CHV -- Jesus Padilla 1 (Rodolfo Espinoza 2) 71
Chivas USA -- Dan Kennedy, Carlos Borja (Mariano Trujillo 79), Michael Umana, Dario Delgado, Ante Jazic, Michael Lahoud, Marcelo Saragosa (Osael Romero 46), Blair Gavin (Ben Zemanski 78), Rodolfo Espinoza, Jonathan Bornstein (Jesus Padilla 24), Giancarlo Maldonado.
Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Guppy, Jorge Flores, Chukwudi Chijindu.
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Andrew Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Eddie Robinson, Mike Chabala, Corey Ashe (Brian Mullan 73), Brad Davis (Danny Cruz 57), Adrian Serioux (Richard Mulrooney 83), Lovel Palmer, Cam Weaver, Dominic Oduro (Joseph Ngwenya 62).
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Ryan Cochrane, Anthony Obodai.
HOU -- Andrew Hainault (caution; Reckless Tackle) 18
HOU -- Eddie Robinson (caution; Tactical Foul) 35
CHV -- Michael Umana (caution; Reckless Tackle) 41
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee's Assistants: Anthony Vasoli, James Conlee
4th official: Landis Wiley
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial