There is a fine line between frustrating and disappointing and the Houston Dynamo walked it on Tuesday night.
In their third game in seven days, Houston dominated their match with the Portland Timbers in almost every aspect except in one particular column: goals scored. The 0-0 draw left the Dynamo frustrated that their efforts did not yield the full share of the spoils, but their play kept the club far from disappointed.
“I’d say frustrating because it’s disappointing if you don’t play well and you don’t create any chances,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “We made some good chances. You have to give [Timbers goalkeeper] Troy Perkins credit because he made some wonderful saves and didn’t let us score on him. So it’s frustrating because you’re getting good looks on goal and you’re not scoring.”
Houston was particularly encouraged by their play in the second half. After spending the first half primarily feeling out the game, the home side dominated the second 45 minutes. They pushed especially hard the final quarter hour of the match, searching for the go-ahead goal that would send their fans into a frenzy.
“It was a frustrating night for us because we got some chances that we should’ve put away,” said defender Jermaine Taylor, who had a stellar night again for the Dynamo at right back. “That’s the nature of the game. Sometimes it takes time to get going. [The] second half was the better half of the game. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the win.”
The main culprits on the night were a few unlucky bounces and a top-notch performance from Perkins, who finished with seven saves and countless chance-killing plays. Five of Perkins’ saves — including three key ones down the stretch on Luiz Camargo, Calen Carr and Alex Dixon — came in the second half to keep Houston from taking the full three points.
While the win was not to be, the Dynamo's good performances throughout this congested stretch in their schedule has the team feeling good despite the tinge of frustration.
“[Portland] had a week-and-a-half off and had fresh legs and we had tired guys and were able to out possess them,” said Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall. “We went at them far more than they came at us — with tired legs. That’s a positive going forward. At the end of the day, that’s a game for us to use going forward.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @DarrellLovell.