FRISCO, Texas - El Capitan is staying in Dallas.
FC Dallas took round two of this year’s Texas Derby by defeating the Houston Dynamo 2-0 in the first MLS match at Toyota Stadium since May 15.
The match was delayed for just over an hour after storms, and moderate rainfall fell throughout the entire match. But that did not slow down the Dallas attack, which before Friday had been slumping, or midfielder Fabian Castillo, who worked the flank against Houston defender Raúl Rodríguez for most of the match.
Although Houston put up seven shots in the first half, Dallas were the aggressors and consistently found scoring opportunities. Castillo continued his fancy footwork and weaved his way down the flank and through the middle of the defense multiple times to set up crosses and shots, but a stout Houston defense blocked many of them in the early stages of the match.
But in the 28th minute, a Houston block went awry after defender Jermaine Taylor attempted to clear a Castillo cross from the left flank. The ball zipped directly to the feet of Taylor, but it ricocheted off his leg and back into the left corner of the net to give Dallas a 1-0 advantage.
Castillo yet again found himself working against Rodriguez in the 42nd minute, this time out-muscling him to the ball instead of using his speed. After winning the ball on the sideline that sent Rodriguez to the ground, Castillo found Mauro Diaz on top of the penalty box, who in turn flicked it right back to a cutting Castillo inside the box. Unlike the previous own goal, this time Castillo fired it to goalkeeper Tyler Deric’s left on his own and into the back of the net to double the lead.
The offensive aggression for Dallas carried into the second half, as both Castillo and forward David Texeira had one-on-one chances against Deric early on. But in both instances, the Dynamo 'keeper was able to sprint out of the goal and successfully beat each player to the ball. It wasn’t long before FCD began emptying its bench and the pace slowed down.
The intensity that built-up over MLS Heineken Rivalry Week carried over to the field, as both teams ramped up the physicality over the course of the match. 24 fouls were called in the match and six yellow cards were issued, with the potential for more because of a handful of hard fouls and chirping back and forth between the teams. Still tempers never fully boiled over, as both teams finished the game with 11 men on the field.
The win for Dallas breaks a five-game winless streak and puts them at 26 points on the season, while the loss leaves Houston at 20 points and in the second-to-last spot in the Western Conference.
Both teams will turn their attention to the US Open Cup next, with the Dynamo hosting the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday and Dallas traveling to Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday.