A furious late rally by the Houston Dynamo fell just short as Houston dropped a 3-2 result to FC Cincinnati tonight at Nippert Stadium.
Forward Romell Quioto converted a penalty for his first goal of the year in the 79th minute, and the Dynamo forced Cincinnati into an own goal in the 81st to rally from a 3-0 deficit to within a goal, but they were unable to find the equalizer over the last 10 minutes.
Quioto created the penalty before burying the spot kick, driving into the penalty area before being brought down by Cincinnati defender Justin Hoyte. Two minutes after Quioto’s goal, defender Adam Lundkvist whipped in a cross toward forward Alberth Elis. Cincinnati defender Nick Hagglund dove to head the ball clear, but his effort caromed into the back of the net for Houston’s second.
Houston pressed desperately for the equalizer over the final few minutes, earning three corner kicks in stoppage time and creating a pair of golden chances along the right flank through the run of play, but Cincinnati’s defense did just enough to see out the game.
Cincinnati midfielder Allan Cruz intercepted a pass at midfield in the 29th minute and found forward Emmanuel Ledesma behind the Dynamo backline to spark a fast break for the first goal of the game. Ledesma fed forward Kakuta Manneh along the left flank, and Manneh cut inside for a right-footed shot to the far post for his third goal of the season.
Cincinnati doubled their lead in the 39th minute after Cincinnati defender Mathieu Deplagne dribbled to the top of the box and lost his footing. The defender collided with Dynamo defender Kiki Struna on his way to the turf but recovered to find Rashwan Dally inside the box. The forward’s shot at the near post beat Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis for the second goal of the game.
Ledesma tallied his second assist of the night in the 61st minute when he found Victor Ulloa outside the box. The midfielder’s first-touch finish slipped underneath Willis for Ulloa’s first goal of the season.
With the score at 3-2, the Dynamo created a pair of chances late on in search of the equalizer. First, Elis worked free along the right flank and rifled in a centering pass for forward Michael Salazar in front of the net. Hagglund again lunged to knock the ball away, this time successfully clearing it out for a corner kick.
In the game’s final minute, Elis found midfielder Tommy McNamara in space along the flank. The midfielder carried the ball into the box and whipped a hard ball across the face of goal. Struna was trailing the play and redirected it toward the net, but Cincinnati goalkeeper Spencer Richey got a hand on it to knock the ball away. Seconds later, referee Dave Gantar blew his whistle for full time.