The Houston Dynamo earned their third road point of the season and posted their fourth clean sheet of the year in a 0-0 draw with Minnesota United FC Wednesday night at TCF Bank Stadium.
Houston controlled the first half and created multiple dangerous chances, but were unable to find a way to get the ball into the net, and goalkeeper Tyler Deric came up big with a flurry of late saves to preserve his second shutout of the year.
The Dynamo nearly netted the game-winner in the 83rd minute through a two-man counterattack with forwards Vicente Sánchez and Mauro Manotas. The two took off together from the midfield stripe and Sánchez played Manotas into space. The young Colombian returned the favor and then raced toward the goalmouth, where Sánchez played a low cross that eluded a sliding attempt by Manotas in the mouth of the goal.
Deric made a pair of crucial saves in the final minutes, first in the 89th minute when he charged off his line and made himself big to deny Minnesota FW Christian Ramirez on a 50-50 ball at the six-yard box off of a floated cross. After Minnesota’s first corner kick of the match, an attempted clearance was collected by the Loons and sent back into the mixer. Then in stoppage time on another Minnesota corner, Deric fought his way through a Loons attacker to punch away another dangerous ball.
The Dynamo and Minnesota United finished the first half without a goal, but the Houston attack created multiple dangerous opportunities that each barely missed the net throughout the first 45 minutes. Manotas had the first opportunity early in the first half when he cracked a right-footed shot from 23 yards in the fourth minute that was saved by goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
Shortly after, midfielder Alex sent a cross to the center of the box finding forward Andrew Wenger, but Wenger’s diving header flashed off the side of the net. In the 10th minute, Wenger provided a picture-perfect cross to Manotas, who turned his header wide of the left post.
Alex had two chances of his own, but wasn’t able to find the back of the net. In the 30th minute, he stole a ball from defender Brent Kallman and dribbled into the box. The Brazilian took a left-footed shot that was saved by Shuttleworth. He created another opportunity just before the halftime whistle when he collected a headed clearance, juggled the ball to himself and turned on a left-footed volley, but the shot whistled just wide of the near post.
Early in the second half, the Loons came out with increased energy and began to put the Dynamo into dangerous situations. In the 62nd minute, Loons midfielder Kevin Molino collected the ball in his own half and dribbled past several Houston defenders. Molino ultimately got inside the box took a right-footed shot that beat Deric, but was cleared off the line by defender A.J. DeLaGarza, who refused to give up on the play.
DeLaGarza delivered another crucial intervention late in the game when he stepped in front of what appeared to be a clear shooting opportunity for Minnesota near the penalty spot, denying the Loons an almost certain goalscoring chance.
The Dynamo will travel from Minneapolis directly to our nation’s capital as they continue the 2017 season, presented by 76, on Saturday, July 22 at 6:00 p.m. CDT against D.C. United at RFK Stadium.
Minnesota United FC (5-11-4, 19 pts.) 0-0 Houston Dynamo (8-7-5, 29 pts.)
MLS Week 20
July 19, 2017 – TCF Bank Stadium -- Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minnesota United FC: Bobby Shuttleworth; Jerome Thiesson, Brent Kallman, Joseph Greenspan (Ismaila Jome 27), Justin Davis; Sam Cronin ©, Ibson; Miguel Ibarra, Kevin Molino, Bashkim Kadrii (Collin Martin 46); Christian Ramirez
Unused Substitutes: Patrick McLain, Brandon Allen, Collen Warner
Total shots: 4 (Kevin Molino 3); Shots on goal: 3 (Kevin Molino 2); Fouls: 9 (Nine players, 1 each); Offside: 4 (Christian Ramirez 2); Corner kicks: 2 (Ibson, Collin Martin 1); Saves: 4 (Bobby Shuttleworth 4)
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; A.J. DeLaGarza, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley; Juan David Cabezas, Ricardo Clark ©, Alex (Joe Holland 85); Andrew Wenger (Vicente Sánchez 76); Mauro Manotas, Memo Rodriguez (José Escalante 78)
Unused Substitutes: Joe Willis, Dylan Remick, Charlie Ward, Jalil Anibaba
Total shots: 19 (Mauro Manotas 6); Shots on goal: 4 (Memo Rodriguez 2); Fouls: 13 (Ricardo Clark 4); Offside: 0; Corner kicks: 5 (Memo Rodriguez 3); Saves: 2 (Tyler Deric 2)
MIN: Ismaila Jome (caution; foul) 36
HOU: Ricardo Clark (caution; foul) 45
HOU: Adolfo Machado (caution; foul) 63
MIN: Brent Kallman (caution; other) 90+1
MIN: Collin Martin (caution; foul) 90+5
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistant Referee 1: Joe Fletcher
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Wienckowski
Fourth Official: Juan Guzman