Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Houston Dynamo come up short against Seattle Sounders

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 21, 2017) The Houston Dynamo conceited two goals in the first half, which led to their 2-0 loss to to the Seattle Sounders in the first leg of the Western Conference Finals at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. The Sounders jumped out to their early lead when defender Gustav Svensson connected off a corner kick in the 11th minute.

In the 29nd minute, Sounder defender Joevin Jones was brought down in the box, by Houston defender Jalil Anibaba. The official, deemed Jones was denied a scoring opportunity and a penalty kick was awarded. Midfielder  Nicolas Lodeiro took the kick, which was blocked by Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis. Anibaba was issued a red card; forcing the Dynamo to continue play a man down. After the red card, Houston defender Alberth Elis was issued a yellow card for arguing (dissent) about the red card.

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved

The Sounders added an additional goal 13 minutes later when former Dynamo forward Will Bruin headed the ball pass Willis for Seattle's second goal of the game. The Dynamo's woes continued in the first half when midfielder Toma Martinez was issued a yellow card , in the 44th minute, after he clipped a Seattle player, and ran over another. The first half ended with the Sounders up 2-0, and that is where the game ended. Houston now travels to Seattle for the second leg of conference final. They will need to best the Sounders by three goals in order to advance to the MLS final. Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera (shown above left) stated after the game.

“We started off well, we created quick options right away, set pieces with Alberth, but then we conceded the first goal on a set piece, to go behind 1-0. We spoke about if something goes wrong, we just need to keep playing, trying to do our job, and do not make silly mistakes where we have to play with 10 men. But it happened. And that's difficult. When you're losing 1-0 against a team like the Seattle Sounders and even though Joe did very well on the PK, then we conceded the second goal too soon and we went to halftime. I told the guys that we needed to do a different type of job. We needed to defend a little bit better, and we have to take the risk to leave two forwards up front. So Alberth and Mauro went up front just to take a risk and to try to see if we could have got the ball right there and tried to counter attack and try to go at them. I think we have a few options, but we have to put that in. And we didn't punish them and…the game is over and now we have to think that we need; we have to prepare ourselves for Seattle. In Seattle, can we win? Yes. We're going to go with the mentality that we can win that game. Because we have a good team and we can be dangerous. We can defend better; we have to defend better. It's going to be a tough game, but we have to have a good mentality, and we're going to take risks over there. We're going to take risks, because that's the one option. So it's another 90 minutes at their home and we need to prepare ourselves for those 90 minutes. It's going to be the last 90 minutes for us or it's going to be some kind of miracle, and I believe in that.”

Elis discussed the outcome after the game with the press.

“We never expected this would happen. But this is football and there’s 90 minutes left. We are going to try our best and leave everything on the field in Seattle. This is football. We have to recover from this game, give our all and fight for our ticket to the final. They scored a goal from a defensive error during a set piece. I don’t think we have conceded from a corner kick this whole season. Then we get a player sent off and it became difficult for us to get back into the game. For a comeback, we have to play a perfect game if we want to win. We know it will be difficult like the game in Portland. But this is football and we know that anything can happen.”

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