It was a fantastic night for the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, as they blew out rivals FC Dallas, 5-0, in the latest edition of the Texas Derby.
Houston Lands Knockout Blow In The First Half
The match started off better than fine for the Dynamo. It ended pretty favorably too.
After a free kick was headed away, the ball fell straight to Andrew Wenger. Wenger then delivered a great cross and found David Horst in front of the net; Horst's header didn't miss as Houston took an early lead.
It was a great goal for Houston, as they used their momentum from the opening kick to take the lead. Although it was only five minutes into the game, the way Houston was pushing the ball forward, you could see the goal coming.
Houston almost added a second when a Giles Barnes cross had to be punched out by Dallas keeper Jesse Gonzalez. Barnes also had a ball across goal just slip his grasp as Houston pushed for a second goal, one that game in bizarre form.
Barnes was played in and forced Gonzalez to come off his line. But defender Matt Hedges ran in front of Barnes and passed the ball back to Gonzalez. The only problem was that Gonzalez wasn't where Hedges thought he'd be. The ball rolled to the back of the net and all of a sudden it was 2-0 Houston.
The Dynamo were attacking all over the place and took advantage of an FC Dallas team that didn't look it wanted to be playing out on the pitch.
Things got even worse for Dallas in the 23rd minute. A cross that was punched out found itself to Wenger in the box. He slid it over to a storming Ricardo Clark, who looked like he was going to hit a rocket. But Clark calmly slid the ball to the far post for the third goal in the half for Houston and they weren't done yet.
Wenger got on the scoresheet as well. He found himself on goal but his shot was blocked by Gonzalez. The rebound fell back to Wenger after two Dallas defenders collided with each other, and he slid it past Gonzalez. It was four and the rout was on in Houston. That remained the scoreline at halftime, as FC Dallas badly needed a fifteen minute break.
Dynamo Cruise Through Second Half
With a 4-0 lead, the Dynamo were able to take their foot of the pedal. FC Dallas showed no signs of coming back in the second half, and Óscar Pareja threw in the towel as he subbed off Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas's top attacker.
"Today obviously wasn't our day. It was one of those nights where nothing works out," Pareja said after the match. "We have to just analyze the game and need to learn from it and keep pushing, but there's no guarantee that we can predict results. That's the beauty of this league and that's the beauty of this game that we all love. Tomorrow we need to wake up in the morning, work harder and get the next result, because that's what this game is."
It was a lackluster second half, with both teams waiting out the final 45 minutes. But the Dynamo added a fifth at the end.
Will Bruin's initial shot was blocked by Gonzalez, but the ball slipped under the keeper's arm. Bruin was able to run around the keeper and fire the ball into the net from a tight angle to make it 5-0 to the home side.
It was an embarrassing defeat for FC Dallas, being thrashed 5-0 by the Dynamo. But credit should not be taken from Houston, as the Dynamo played a great match, attacking right from the start and not letting up until the final whistle.
"There's 32 games to go," said Pareja. "It's a long journey."