HOUSTON — The first leg of the Texas Derby was an intensely physical game, with the Houston Dynamo earning a 2-1 win over FC Dallas.
Just as expected, the rivalry match was filled with intense plays and fouls. And the home team suffered during the last few minutes of the game.
“I am very happy with the functioning of the team. We’re solid and we scored two. We could have score two more, but it’s a derby and they are a good team. We won very well today,” Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera said after the match.“We were better than them today, that’s for sure.”
Tempers flared in the 20th minute when Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo fouled Dynamo midfielder Alberth Elis in the penalty area and referee Alan Kelly awarded the home team a penalty kick.
Dallas goalkeeper Jose Luis Gonzales protested and Kelly hit him with a yellow for dissent.
Although Gonzales dove in the right direction, he was unable to stop forward Mauro Manotas’ powerful kick and Houston took a 1-0 lead.
“We knew that it was going to be a very [exciting] and special game for everyone. … We can say that Texas is orange and we will continue working to keep it that way,” said Manotas when asked about the importance of the derby.
In the 31st minute, Memo Rodriguez almost gave the Dynamo a 2-0 lead when his free kick went right above the post.
During the last few minutes of the first half, Dynamo goalie Joe Willis was busy stopping back-to-back dangerous shots. He denied every Dallas charge, helping Houston carry a 1-0 lead into the second half.
Once the second half started, Dallas came out attacking and looking to equalize, but nothing seemed to play out in the team’s favor.
In the 56th minute, the Dynamo’s triple treat showed up. Elis delivered a perfect pass to Rodriguez, who found Manotas. The forward blasted the ball with his right foot into the Dallas net in the 58th minute, giving the Dynamo a 2-0 lead over their in-state rival.
The Colombian forward now has 40 goals during his MLS career and five this season.
“I am immensely happy for having won a Clasico, they are special matches, special for me, special for the fans and for all the orange family in general. I am happy, and hopefully continue like this,” Manotas said.
After missing several games due to an injury, Dynamo forward Romell Quioto finally saw some playing time. In the 86th minute, he scored but was called offside.
Even though he didn’t score, Quioto was pleased to be on the pitch.
“I’m very happy that after so much time without playing and coming back that way, I think it’s very nice. We’ve made a great effort, we’ve made a great game to be able to win this afternoon and get more points,” Quioto said.”The play was quite tight, but it’s OK. We have to continue to insist and be there and keep hoping for opportunities to score to continue helping the team.”
In the 87th minute, Dallas forward Dominique Badji managed to score to seal the 2-1 final score.
Even during stoppage time, Dallas was pushing for the draw and created a goal opportunity that ended in the back of the net thanks to Dallas midfielder Santiago Mosquera, but it was erased due to a foul call.
“We want to win every game at home and I think it’s even better than it was a derby,” Rodriguez said after the match. “And we keep moving forward and be ready for next week.”
The Dynamo will square off against Seattle Sanders at Century Link Field 9 p.m. CT