Houston Dynamo FC and FC Cincinnati traded early goals and then couldn’t break through further in a wide-open 1-1 draw at BBVA Stadium on Saturday night.
his one got off to a brisk start, with teams trading defender-assisted winger goals within the first five minutes. First, the home team got on the board, with Sam Junqua finding Tyler Pasher with a cross-field pass to set up a well-struck shot that found the net in the third minute. But then less than two minutes later, Geoff Cameron hoofed a long pass forward that Brenner wisely dummied; the ball got to Álvaro Barreal, who didn’t waste the chance to equalize.
Both teams played wide-open soccer throughout the half and engineered chances, with Pasher, Maxi Urruti, and Brenner getting some great looks at goal. But some individual defensive stops kept it 1-1 at the half, including a 27th-minute goal-saving tackle by Cameron and a 44th-minute Marko Maric save denying Isaac Atanga his chance on the scoresheet.
The match didn’t resume with the same alacrity that the first half had, as FCC players — Barreal in particular — appeared to feel the physical play the Dynamo players were dishing out, spending some time on the turf and disrupting the back-and-forth tempo. But both teams were still able to get the ball into dangerous areas, and yet the defenses were up for whatever the attackers were able to muster.
The Dynamo, in particular, looked to be pushing for the win and brought on chance-creator Darwin Quintero to try to work his magic in the last 15 minutes of regular time. An 87th-minute connection with Fafa Picault led to a header that went wide — distressingly so for Houston fans, given the promise that particular play held.
The Dynamo also got several corner-kick chances in stoppage time, with Tim Parker coming closest to being the hero, but FCC’s defense was able to lock it down and escape BBVA Stadium with a point.
- THE BIG PICTURE: This is the fourth straight draw for the Dynamo, and given the advantage, they had in shots and corner kicks, this really felt like a match that they should have taken all three points from. Houston now has to travel to Seattle to potentially avoid being on the wrong side of an MLS record; should the Sounders get a result against Colorado tomorrow, a result against Houston would give the Sounders the longest unbeaten string to start an MLS season. Cincinnati also had their chances for a match-winner and will certainly rue those missed opportunities, but a hot and muggy point on the road makes it seven points out of nine. While now a bit off the playoff pace, they’re not in the pickle they were in just three matches ago.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Cameron-to-Barreal connection allowed FCC to answer the bell — and given how the Dynamo pressed in the first half, very may well have stopped a rout.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Cameron had FCC’s lone assist on the night and showed the defensive mettle that made him a perennial USMNT selection. Though he might be on the downward slope of a long career that’s taken him to the Premier League and back to MLS, he showed vintage form throughout these 90 minutes.
- HOU: Wednesday, July 7 at Seattle Sounders FC | 9 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ | MLS regular season
- CIN: Friday, July 9 vs. Columbus Crew | 7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ | MLS regular season
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