Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

Houston has to wait to clinch semifinals

For 90 minutes on Sunday night, Houston thoroughly outplayed Chivas USA. However, poor finishing and poor marking on a second-half set piece cost the Dynamo an early pass to the second round of SuperLiga, as they tied the Goats 1-1.


“The team is very disappointed,” said Lovel Palmer, who scored the game’s opening goal in the sixth minute. “If you go inside the locker room, you would actually think we lost the game. But we got one point. It was unfortunate to give up a goal in the second half, especially [due to] poor marking. It was very bad concentration and marking on our part.”

The Dynamo outshot Chivas USA 16-6, but it was the quality of those chances that don't translate by a mere glance at a stat line. Whether it was a Cam Weaver shot on an empty net in stoppage time or a Joseph Ngwenya header in front of goal, Houston had several opportunities to snatch three points.

“You have to convert those chances to win games,” noted head coach Dominic Kinnear. “In the end, we had some cracking chances. We really turned it up when it was 1-1.”

As happy as Kinnear was with his team’s ability to create quality chances, he was more disappointed by his team’s lackadaisical marking on Chivas USA’s goal.

“We fell asleep and we lost concentration, and they made us pay for it,” noted Kinnear. “A guy standing wide open and, for all our good play and all the chances we created, we get bit in the backside on a set piece. It was just a lack of concentration.”

Most disappointing for the Dynamo has to be the knowledge that, had they taken all three points, they would have clinched a spot in the semifinals and taken pressure off Wednesday's match against Puebla.

“We will see what happens [in the second game],” said Kinnear before Puebla beat Pachuca 3-1. “If we win this game, we're in great shape. Now we're not in terrible shape, we're in good shape, but we still have some work to do.”

Instead of using the final group match on Wednesday night to rest some of the starters in advance of the weekend’s MLS action, Houston will likely have to play for a full three points against Puebla.

“To come out with a draw is disappointing,” said midfielder Danny Cruz. “Hopefully, Wednesday, we get a good result, [but] it would have been a lot easier getting a result here.”

Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to dwaincapodice@gmail.com.