The Houston Dynamo continued their frustrating season on Thursday night, falling 1-0 to Monarcas Morelia in the SuperLiga semifinals.
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For most of the match, Houston and Morelia battled on a fairly level playing field with both teams creating quality chances on goal. However, Houston left the night upset and with a loss, a common theme this year for the Dynamo.
“It’s a game that could have been won by either team, and they took advantage of their chances,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “It was one goal, and both sides had chances. They get a goal, and then we spent a lot of time pushing forward.”
The game included several patented trademarks of U.S.-Mexico competitions. Morelia had stretches with more possession and created several dangerous chances early in the night. However, Houston was effective on the counter and on set pieces. Later in the match, the game turned physical with some pushing, several cards, and words exchanged.
“It was a feisty game, but that is expected anytime you play against a team from [Mexico],” noted forward Dominic Oduro. “I don’t think it was anything we haven’t seen before. Things like that happen when you play against [teams from Mexico].”
The officiating was a bit of a sore spot for Kinnear. Not so much for one particular play that turned the game, but the general lack of control Costa Rican referee Walter Quesada had over the entire night.
“I’m sorry to say it, but I’m completely frustrated [with the officiating]," said Kinnear. "We walk on the field here wanting fairness, wanting stability, and wanting strength from the guy in the middle, but it’s not going to happen.
“I don’t think the referee [was able to] handle this type of situation,” continued Kinnear. “I think the allowance of time wasting [was] disappointing, because I thought we put enough into it to get at least a goal and maybe send it to penalties later on.”
Five minutes of injury time was added in the second half, and Quesada let it run to 6 minutes, 48 seconds with Houston threatening late, but it could have been even longer given Morelia's lengthy protests at the red card to Adrian Aldrete. Regardless, the officiating and the disappointing exit left the Dynamo frustrated on the night.
“Disappointed, as I think we could have [won],” said Dominic Oduro. “We tried hard to equalize, but it didn’t go our way. Disappointing game for us, but what else can we do? We just have to keep our heads up and move on.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.