It was déjà vu for the Houston Dynamo in Wednesday night’s 3-0 U.S. Open Cup loss to F.C. Dallas.
In a road game where they battled to have to control the run of play, it was set pieces that were the death of them as they exit North America’s longest running tournament at the hands of their in-state rivals.
“It was almost a mirror image of the first game we played here,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “I thought we had control of the game a little bit and then we gave up goals on set pieces. I appreciate the guys to try and get something out of the game.”
Just as it did March 17 in their 3-2 loss it was a combination of Michel’s pinpoint delivery and some poor marking that did the Dynamo in.
Once on a free kick and another on a corner, the Dynamo were caught out of sorts in the box and the curling left-footed service of the Brazilian did them in.
“The obvious thing [to work on] is to just mark better,” Kinnear said. “Sometimes you get caught on a concentration lapse. For me it’s just about staying with your guy and being first to the ball.”
“They have a big team and you have to give Michel credit, he whipped in some good balls today,” goalkeeper Tyler Deric said. “I thought personally I could’ve dealt with it a little better. You have to take it on the chin and learn from it but I think the learning phase has to come to an end soon. You can’t keep making the same mistakes.”
The poorly conceded goals were a cruel result was the fact that Houston had their chances in the run of play.
While they weren’t dominant for the full 90 minutes, there were long stretches where the Dynamo were controlling the run of play and creating chances. That control made for a disturbing loss that has the Dynamo looking at this game as a reminder of what they need to do when they return to MLS play.
“I don’t think it was a three nothing result but that’s the way the game went,” said Will Bruin. “They didn’t have many chances but they played for set pieces and got on the end of them. It’s over now and now we can put all our attention on Montreal [Impact].”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.