“This is one that we just have to throw away,” said midfielder Brad Davis. “We’ve been doing it all year - hurting ourselves - and that’s what we did again here tonight.”
Goalkeeper Tally Hall’s first-half blunder spotted a strong Columbus defense an early lead. While Hall recovered well with a great stop to close the first half and two more in the second half, the early lead was all the Crew needed.
“We’ve been killing ourselves all year allowing soft goals,” noted Davis. “It’s unacceptable, and it’s got to stop; otherwise you’re not going to win games on this level.”
The Dynamo attack, though, was also lacking most of the night and deserves its fair share of the blame. With forwards Brian Ching and Cam Weaver struggling against their Columbus counterparts, there were large stretches of the match, including the game’s first 15 minutes, during which Houston was struggling to stay afloat.
Although the team had its moments on set pieces, Houston managed just one shot on goal. After playing four games in 10 days, fatigue may have been a cause for the team’s poor offensive performance.
“It’s been tough; fourth game in 10 days,” said a frustrated head coach Dominic Kinnear. “It’s going to be difficult coming here anyways if you have a couple of weeks to prepare. It’s difficult. With saying that, you really have to limit your mistakes, and we didn’t do that tonight.”
While the 3-0 score probably flattered Columbus, it was clearly the better team on the night. The Crew continually put the Dynamo defense under pressure, and Houston had to resort at times to fouling as they were whistled for 12 infractions on the night to the Crew’s four.
“A bad mistake put us behind, and I think up until that point we were doing pretty good,” noted forward Brian Ching. “I don’t think they were overwhelming us by any means. Then we made another silly mistake, and a guy gets sent off, and from there we’re trying to chase the game, push it, and they punished us for it.”
To make matters worse for Houston, defender Bobby Boswell was red-carded and will miss the team’s next game against the New York Red Bulls. With the playoffs around the corner, each remaining home game becomes much more important.
“We have got to put this game behind us,” Ching said. “We’ve had a good week in making it to the semifinals of Superliga, which is an extreme positive. We have to get three points next week.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to email@example.com.