On the road in hostile territory the final call - or non-call - that mattered went against the Houston Dynamo.
After launching a thrilling comeback in the final 15 minutes, the Dynamo looked to have earned a critical road point in this season's lone Texas Derby. Andrew Driver and Brad Davis smashed home two goals in a four-minute span to bring Houston level and with the momentum in their favor, the Dynamo looked ready to snatch a late winner.
Unfortunately for Houston, the Dynamo were unable to have their fairy-tale ending, and the way things played out will leave a sour taste.
In the 90th minute, Luis Michel hit a left-footed ball over the top, finding Kenny Cooper who looked to head it down and hit home the winner. In actuality, the ball came off Cooper’s bicep, and with referee Jair Marrufo's vision blocked by a leaping Jermaine Taylor, the Dynamo left Frisco without a share of the spoils having dropped a result to their rivals.
“It’s obviously a handball and it’s disappointing because guys fought like crazy to get back into that game,” Davis told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the game. “Locker room’s not really happy, but that’s one of those plays where it’s unfortunate.”
The goal erased a comeback that looked for several minutes to have saved the Dynamo from some self-inflicted wounds.
For the second game in a row, including the 3-0 loss to Santos Laguna Wednesday, the Dynamo gave up two goals less than 5 minutes apart. This time it was set-piece defending that did the Dynamo.
On Dallas' first goal, Bobby Boswell's header hit off the back of George John's neck and ricocheted past Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. Minutes later, Andrew Jacobson shook free of Ricardo Clark to score a near post goal just two minutes later.
“In the first 20 minutes, we had chances to go 1-0 up,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told reporters. “We just didn’t take care of the set pieces side of it. We did great to come back into it to get it back to 2-2. I thought the guys did great, showed great fighting spirit.”
Added Davis, “We didn’t play our best in the first half … but we created some chances but didn’t capitalize on them. We’re not using any excuses in that first half. You’ve got to credit them where credit’s due.
“We came back out and got back into it. It’s unfortunate because we clawed our way back and did a great job and to lose on that goal is very disappointing.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @DarrellLovell.