HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo dominated parts of their match with the Chicago Fire, but they were unable to finish their scoring chances and were handed their second consecutive home game loss Saturday 1-0 against Chicago fire in front of an announced crowd of 14,250 at BBVA Stadium.
The Dynamo were looking to bounce back after a painful 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders and earn much-needed points to get into playoff position. Houston once again had several scoring opportunities, but they ended their second consecutive match without a goal.
“We had a good plan we started out well, we created chances, we were dangerous, but sadly we are in a drought to score goals at home, which is not normal for us,” Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “But the effort was there, the players put a lot of into the game, they tried, they tried.”
Houston’s loss to Chicago was similar to the loss to Seattle, with the Fire and Sounders finishing their only strong scoring chances to earn wins and leave the Dynamo further away from playoff territory.
Chicago, which snapped a five-game winless streak, now has 27 points that might help the Fire earn a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Houston finishes a three-game homestretch with a loss and remains at 30 points. It is in ninth place in the Western Conference and three points behind FC Dallas for the seventh and final playoff spot.
“Oh yes, we feel the pressure, especially because we are losing two games in a row at home, so we are under pressure, we are losing points at home,” Cabrera said.
He added that his team now has to play like there is no tomorrow, believe in themselves and not lose faith while working hard to achieve its goal.
“We have to play 11 finals in front of us,” Cabrera said. “We have 11 finals, so we have to go and take one [game] by one as a final, playing our hearts out and with all the effort, all our good mentality, because our possibility of being in the playoffs depends on taking points.”
The Dynamo had three consecutive goal-scoring opportunities during the first 45 minutes of Saturday’s match, but none were on target. Right before halftime, Chicago scored, breaking the deadlock. The play started from a corner kick played back to Nicolas Gaitan, who then kicked to the 18-yard spot, where teammate Nemanja Nikolic slotted a shot above Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric.
In addition to surrendering the goal, Houston’s Alberth Elis got a yellow card in the 44th minute for unsportsmanlike behavior. He will be suspended for the team’s next match due to card accumulation.
“The pressure is always here, from the beginning of the season,” Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas said. “Now we have entered a pothole that we could not get out of. Unfortunately, the results are not happening. This team with these players that we have does not deserve to be where it is. We are a good team with great players, but unfortunately, this is a difficult stretch.”
The Dynamo had several chances to break down the Fire defense in the second half. Although Houston dominated possession, not enough dangerous plays were created to find the equalizer desperately needed.
“There is always a bittersweet feeling of having given it your all and without getting the result, but well you have to keep working,” Dynamo defender Maynor Figueroa said.
Houston will now hit the road for back-to-back away games, first against New York City FC and next against Philadelphia.