It was a tale of two halves for the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night in their 1-1 draw with Toronto FC, and unfortunately for the home team their dip in the second 45 cost them two crucial points in the standings.
Houston got out to the type of start you would expect them to against the East’s last place team at home. They controlled the game both in tempo and on the scoreboard, but left the door open by only taking a 1-0 lead.
TFC were only too happy to bust it in.
HIGHLIGHTS: HOU vs TOR
“We stopped moving off the ball and were very passive with our movement and very passive with our passing and made it very easy to defend,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said when asked what was the difference between the two halves. “If you look at the goal we scored the movement was wonderful. We had those moments in the second half but there wasn’t enough.”
The consensus was a lack of urgency, and according to Bobby Boswell it is a trend that has been growing in recent weeks.
“I think we were outplaying teams a couple of games ago and we were really burying them all over the field,” the defender said. “First balls, second balls, third balls and now I think, whether it’s tired legs or not being as sharp mentally, we’ve gotten a little bit away from that and it’s shown the last two home games. It’s a group thing and we’ve got to get better as a group.”
Those issues came to life in the second half as Houston was never able to put TFC away.
The pressure dropped and the Dynamo started putting themselves in bad situations. Midway through the second half poor clearances threatened to give TFC clear chances at an equalizer.
They could only dodge those bullets for so long, and in the 85th minute Terry Dunfield and Darren O’Dea connected to give Toronto a point on Houston’s home field for the second time this season.
“It’s frustrating,” said goalkeeper Tally Hall. “It all comes together. It’s at home, I think we’re the better team and I know I can make that save nine out of 10 times and I only say that because I didn’t make it tonight.
“It feels like a loss in the locker room,” the goalkeeper continued. “Walking off the field, it’s very frustrating. It’s a disappointing way to end what could have been three points.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.