After 203 minutes of shutout soccer, it all came undone in a four-minute span for the Houston Dynamo on Friday night at CenturyLink Field. First-half goals from David Estrada and Brad Evans gave the Seattle Sounders a 2-0 lead that they were only too happy to ride to the final whistle.
Houston’s fortunes took a downward turn after two shutout victories to start the season. First they gave up a deflected goal to Estrada, then a penalty that Evans buried past Tally Hall.
After controlling the tempo of the game for the first 20 minutes, the two bad breaks were a gut-punch that proved too tough to overcome.
“It was a bit of a shock the way the [first] goal went in,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. “Before the goal I thought we had the better of the play going forward. Then the penalty’s the penalty, and then we were down 2-0 and chasing the game.”
Of the two goals, the second was tougher to take. Geoff Cameron – who deflected Estrada’s shot on the first score of the night – was once again involved as he was whistled for pushing Patrick Ianni during a corner kick. When Evans converted, the Dynamo were truly at sea.
“I thought we lost some composure after the second goal,” Kinnear said. “I thought we played better than we did last week [a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes] but we lost. Our possession and passing and moving was better this week but we ended up losing.”
On the night, Houston enjoyed 55 percent of the possession and spent much of their time, especially late, on the ball. Nonetheless, the Dynamo were unable to crack a Sounders defense that proved to be up to the challenge, repeatedly snuffing out attacks in the final third.
While Houston dropped their first points of the season, their passing is a positive they’ll take into their three-week break. They don’t play again until an April 15 match at the Chicago Fire.
“All-in-all I thought it was a good, spirited performance by us,” Kinnear told the media after the loss. “I appreciated the guys’ overall effort and some of the stuff we played was good tonight, but we just came out on the wrong end of the result.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached for comment at Darrell.A.Lovell@gmail.com