The Houston Dynamo finished the 2018 preseason with an unbeaten mark for the second consecutive season after rallying to tie the New England Revolution 1-1 in tonight’s 2018 Mobile Mini Sun Cup Final. The Dynamo fell 4-3 on penalties in their bid to capture back-to-back tournament championships.
After a scoreless first half, the Revs opened the scoring early in the second half. In the 47th minute, midfielder Kelyn Rowe cracked a shot from 18 yards out off the right post, but the rebound fell to the foot of forward Krisztian Nemeth whose right-footed shot went just over the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
The Dynamo were able to tie the game just after the hour mark, when midfielder Memo Rodriguez played a through ball to forward Alberth Elis in the 62nd minute. Elis touched the ball past Revolution goalkeeper Cody Cropper but was dragged down by Cropper. The referee pointed to the penalty spot and awarded the Dynamo a penalty kick, which Elis calmly fired down the middle of the goal and into the back of the net.
Seitz denied New England’s first scoring opportunity of the game in the 13th minute when Revolution forward Teal Bunbury drew a foul 20 yards from goal. Revs defender Claude Dielna fired a shot on goal that Seitz saved.
The Dynamo attempted to take the lead in the 31st minute, Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas drew a foul near midfield and midfielder Boniek García played the ball quickly to Elis on the right side. La Pantera played a through ball to Manotas, who tried to put a cross back in to Elis, but Dielna was there to cut it out.
Shortly afterwards, the Revs answered but this time Houston defender Philippe Senderos denied the chance. In the 32nd minute, Bunbury played a low cross from the left side to the middle of the box, where midfielder Scott Caldwell took a first-touch shot but Senderos slid in to clear the danger.
As the game was coming to an end the Dynamo had two near-misses as they attempted to avoid penalties. In the 83rd minute, Elis rose above the Revolution defense to get on the end of a cross and send a shot back across goal. The effort appeared destined for the side netting, but clipped off the left post and away from goal. Then in the second minute of stoppage time, midfielder Arturo Alvarez rifled a left-footed shot that had Cropper beaten, but was inches too high as it banged off the crossbar.
With the draw in regulation, the Dynamo extended their unbeaten streak in the Mobile Mini Sun Cup to 10 games dating back to 2016.
The Dynamo will host Atlanta United FC on Opening Day presented by Pepsi Zero Sugar on Saturday, March 3 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The match will kick off at 2:30 p.m. CST and launch the 2018 Dynamo season, fueled by 76®.
Houston Dynamo 1-1 (3-4 pen.) New England Revolution
2018 Mobile Mini Sun Cup
February 24, 2018 – Tucson, Arizona
NE: Krisztian Nemeth 1 (unassisted) 47
HOU: Alberth Elis 3 (penalty kick) 62
HOU: Memo Rodriguez – Make
NE: Kelyn Rowe – Save
HOU: Darwin Cerén – Make
NE: Scott Caldwell – Make
HOU: Tomás Martínez – Make
NE: Teal Bunbury – Make
HOU: Arturo Alvarez – Save
NE: Chris Tierney – Make
HOU: Alberth Elis – Miss
NE: Krisztian Nemeth – Make
Houston Dynamo: Chris Seitz; Kevin Garcia, Adolfo Machado, Philippe Senderos (Alejandro Fuenmayor 72), DaMarcus Beasley (Leonardo 72); Eric Alexander (Darwin Cerén 75), Juan David Cabezas; Andrew Wenger (Memo Rodriguez 49), Boniek García (Arturo Alvarez 45), Alberth Elis; Mauro Manotas (Tomás Martínez 78)
New England Revolution: Cody Cropper; Andrew Farrell (Brandon Bye 75), Antonio Delamea, Claude Dielna (Jalil Anibaba 46), Gabriel Somi (Chris Tierney 75); Wilfried Zahibo (Kevin Vang 84), Scott Caldwell; Teal Bunbury, Diego Fagundez (Kelyn Rowe 46), Cristian Penilla (Krisztian Nemeth 46); Juan Agudelo
NE: Andrew Farrell (caution; foul) 40
HOU: Boniek García (ejection; foul) 43
HOU: Alberth Elis (caution; foul) 45+2
NE: Antonio Delamea (caution; foul) 58
HOU: Leonardo (caution; foul) 85