The Houston Dynamo rallied from a late deficit, scoring just before full time to draw their in-state rival FC Dallas 1-1 Thursday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. It marked the fifth consecutive draw between the two teams, dating back to last season.
Forward Ronaldo Peña scored his first goal in Major League Soccer in the 88th minute to give the Dynamo a vital point as they continue to push for a spot in the postseason. Just five minutes after entering the match, Peña collected a short pass from midfielder Tomás Martínez at the top of the penalty area, turned onto his right foot and lashed a low shot into the lower right corner of the net, just past the outstretched arm of Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer.
Peña’s goal came just five minutes after Dallas forward Michael Barrios scored against the run of play to put Dallas on top. After midfielder Cristian Colmán won a header near midfield, Barrios outraced a Dynamo defender to the loose ball at the top of the penalty area before sliding a low shot under Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis.
The exhilarating finish contrasted with the first 80 minutes, which were very tightly contested as both teams fought to quickly close down space whenever their opponent had possession.
In the first half, Martínez led the Dynamo with two dangerous opportunities that barely missed the frame. In the 25th minute, he found himself open at the penalty spot after forward Mauro Manotas pulled two defenders out of position with some nifty dribbling, but his left-footed shot dribbled just wide of the far post. Then in first-half stoppage time, he had another opportunity from the center of the box where he connected again with his left foot, but his attempt again missed wide.
In the second half, the Dynamo back line came up big with four blocked shots, and Willis made a pair of big saves to keep the match scoreless. FC Dallas forward Maxi Urruti had the best opportunity in the 75th minute when he took a right-footed shot on a free kick that squirted the through the wall and changed direction, forcing a late reaction save from Willis. Willis finished with three saves on the night.
The Dynamo now hit the road for a pair of matches next week, traveling to the East Coast to take on the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night before returning to Texas for the third leg of the 2018 Texas Derby at FC Dallas on Saturday night.
Houston Dynamo (7-11-7; 28 pts.) 1-1 FC Dallas (13-5-7; 46 pts.)
MLS Regular Season Week 26
Thursday, August 23, 2018 – BBVA Compass Stadium – Houston, Texas
DAL: Michael Barrios 5 (unassisted) 83
HOU: Ronaldo Peña 1 (Tomás Martínez 6) 88
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; Andrew Wenger, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley ©; Darwin Cerén, Tomás Martínez, Boniek García (Memo Rodriguez 84); Romell Quioto (Eric Alexander 90), Mauro Manotas, Alberth Elis (Ronaldo Peña 83)
Unused subs: Chris Seitz, Luis Gil, Adam Lundkvist, Adolfo Machado
Total shots: 13 (Tomás Martínez 5); Shots on goal: 2 (Alberth Elis, Ronaldo Peña 1); Fouls: 9 (Darwin Cerén, Alberth Elis, Boniek García, Andrew Wenger 2); Offside: 0; Corner kicks: 4 (Tomás Martínez 3); Saves: 3 (Joe Willis 3)
FC Dallas: Jimmy Maurer; Reggie Cannon, Matt Hedges ©, Maynor Figueroa, Marquinhos Pedroso; Carlos Gruezo, Victor Ulloa; Tesho Akindele (Cristian Colmán 82), Pablo Aránguiz (Ryan Hollingshead 68), Michael Barrios; Dominique Badji (Maxi Urruti 46)
Unused subs: Jacori Hayes, Moises Hernandez, Ema Twumasi, Kyle Zobeck
Total shots: 13 (Pablo Aránguiz, Maynor Figueroa, Marquinhos Pedroso, Maxi Urruti 2); Shots on goal: 4 (Tesho Akindele, Michael Barrios, Maynor Figueroa, Maxi Urruti 1); Fouls: 11 (Tesho Akindele, Pablo Aránguiz, Carlos Gruezo 2); Offside: 4 (Michael Barrios 2); Corner kicks: 5 (Pablo Aránguiz 3); Saves: 1 (Jimmy Maurer 1)
DAL: Carlos Gruezo (caution; foul) 53
HOU: Boniek García (caution; foul) 58
HOU: Darwin Cerén (caution; foul) 61
DAL: Maynor Figueroa (caution; foul) 90+2
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referee 1: Brian Poeschel
Assistant Referee 2: Jeremy Kieso
Fourth Official: Nima Saghafi
VAR: Younes Marrakchi