El Capitán will stay in North Texas, as FC Dallas pounced with three second half goals to beat a 10-man Houston Dynamo for a 4-1 victory in the 25th overall meeting of the Texas Derby.
Tied 1-1, the game changed in the 60th minute when David Horst slid in to tackle Fabian Castillo on the sideline. The Dynamo defender caught the Colombian from the side and referee Ricardo Salazar went directly to his back pocket, ejecting Horst for the tackle.
Before Houston could recover, the game was out of reach. Mauro Diaz put in a cultured free kick a minute later that found former Dynamo midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson, who headed home what would be the winning goal on the night.
Houston controlled the opening hour of the match, and created most of the chances, before the red card transformed the game. With a man advantage Dallas punched the gas, pressuring the outgunned Dynamo and scoring twice more.
Defending a corner kick in the 68th minute, Giles Barnes glanced a header into his own goal to double Dallas’ lead. The Dynamo forward was tracking to clear the ball and his attempt found only the back of his own net.
Watson furthered the demise of his old club in the 70th minute, racing into the box and slotting home a shot to clinch a 4-1 Texas Derby win for the visiting Hoops.
In the 80th minute Jair Benitez was called for fouling Kofi Sarkodie at the edge of the penalty box to give the Dynamo a penalty kick opportunity and a chance to narrow the lead. Boniek García struck the ball to the left but FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz was up to the task, diving to reject the Honduran and keep a lopsided 4-1 final.
For the second week in a row Houston was a participant in their own demise, as Ricardo Clark brought down Mauro Diaz from behind in a sea of players near the penalty spot to give Dallas their first serious scoring chance. Michel stepped to the spot and struck a well-placed shot to make it 1-0 in the 31st minute.
10 minutes later Clark atoned.
After three unsuccessful corner kicks, Brad Davis earned a foul at the end line from Fabian Castillo. After taking his time to get up, Davis found Clark at the back post and the World Cup veteran made no mistake, placing his header inside the post and out of Seitz's reach to even the score at 1-1.
Clark’s goal had a residual downfall, however, as it was Castillo’s foul that led to Davis' departure. The World Cup hopeful left the match just three minutes after the goal due to a right leg injury.
The win keeps Dallas undefeated (4-0-1) and atop the Western Conference while Houston suffers their second loss in as many weeks (2-2-0).
Houston Dynamo (2-2-0; 6 points) vs. FC Dallas (4-0-1; 13 points)
MLS regular season
April 5, 2014 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
Attendance: 22,202 (sellout)
FC Dallas: Michel 2 (Penalty) 31
Houston: Ricardo Clark 2 (Brad Davis 2) 41
FC Dallas: Je-Vaughn Watson 2 (Mauro Diaz 2) 61
FC Dallas: Giles Barnes (Own goal) 68
FC Dallas: Je- Vaughn Watson 3 (Mauro Diaz 3) 70
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, David Horst (ejection – 60), Corey Ashe; Andrew Driver (A.J. Cochran 62), Ricardo Clark (Warren Creavalle 85), Boniek Garcia, Brad Davis (Tony Cascio 45); Will Bruin, Giles Barnes
Unused substitutes: Tyler Deric, Mark Sherrod, Omar Cummings, Servando Carrasco
FC Dallas: Chris Seitz; Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Stephen Keel, Jair Benitez; Michel, Hendry Thomas (Victor Ulloa 71); Fabian Castillo, Mauro Diaz (Peter Luccin 79), Je-Vaughn Watson; David Texeria (Blas Perez 66)
Unused substitutes: Raul Fernandez, Danny Garcia, Nick Walker, Moises Hernandez
HOU: Jermaine Taylor (caution) 22
FCD: Hendry Thomas (caution) 37
HOU: David Horst (ejection) 60
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski, Mike Kampmeinert
Fourth Official: Mark Kadlecik