The Houston Dynamo finally broke their streak of alternating wins and losses by yielding their second consecutive game-winning goal in injury time. A Juan Pablo Angel injury-time strike went off the post and into the net, gutting Houston’s chance to steal a point.
“[It felt] a little unfair, but you make your own luck, and right now we’re not helping ourselves,” Dynamo forward Brian Ching said. “In the end, the result seemed a little unlucky but was probably fair.”
Had the Red Bulls been more clinical on their chances in the first half, the game could have easily been 2-0 or 3-0 at half especially after the early goal. While Houston played with energy and intensity to start the game, the team was sloppy and out of sync.
“I think the first half, we really didn’t come out and perform, but in the second half we turned things around,” Ching said.
Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear deserves credit, though, for pulling the right strings and bringing on Dominic Oduro and Corey Ashe. Oduro replaced Cam Weaver, who made his first start of the season and held the ball up adequately, but the Red Bull defense played Houston’s two target forwards very physically and limited their effectiveness. As a result, the insertion of the two speedsters stretched the Red Bull defense and opened up plenty of space for the rest of the team.
While things weren’t going Houston’s way early as the Red Bulls controlled much of the first half, Houston held close thanks to Pat Onstad, the post and poor finishing. Then in a moment, Ching brought down a Richard Mulrooney pass and equalized clinically. After Houston scored the equalizer, it looked like the Dynamo may just grind out a tough road tie or possibly get a late winner themselves, but Houston failed to close another game out.
“I think after we scored our goal, we took our foot off the gas and were unsure,” Kinnear said. “They’re the home team, and they took it to us. [It’s] extremely disappointing, but hats off to Juan Pablo [Angel] for putting a great ball into the back of the net.”
For an already frustrated Dynamo team, losing consecutive games in injury time threw even more gas on the flame.
“I think as a team we’re kind of unsure about ourselves right now, and you saw that at the end of the game,” Ching said. “I think two years ago, we close that game out pretty easily.”