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Real pay the penalty
Tuesday, 06 April 2010

Texian Army Tv 2010 Season Episode 1 from Texian Army TV on Vimeo.

Penalty kicks ensured that the Dynamo sent more than 18,000 fans home happy Thursday night with a win over defending MLS champions Real Salt Lake. The 2-1 victory marks the first time that Houston has won its home opener since 2006.

While neither team was especially fluid or created a litany of chances, RSL did control the majority of the play in midfield.

In fact, it was Real that created the first chance of the play – for the Men in Orange. A hopeful long ball from the home side’s backline and pressure from the speedy Dominic Oduro led to a succession of errors from RSL’s defense, nearly leading to an own goal. Instead, the Dynamo was given a corner where Ryan Cochrane was unable to take advantage of a free header, sending his effort wide of Nick Rimando’s post.

However, in the 17th minute, Real made its advantage in possession count. After receiving the ball in midfield, RSL forward Álvaro Saborío was able to separate from Cochrane thanks to a wayward hand which appeared to strike Cochrane. Saborío promptly fed the ball to defensive midfielder Kyle Beckerman, while teammate Javier Morales made an incisive run through the spot vacated by Cochrane. Once Morales had possession, only Pat Onstad stood in his way. Morales’ clinical finish left the Dynamo keeper helpless, as he scored his third goal in two games and giving the champions the lead at Robertson.

Unfortunately for the Dynamo, the most important event in the first half wasn’t a scoring opportunity, but yet another first half injury. In the 28th minute, star forward Brian Ching had to be taken off the pitch with a left hamstring strain after chasing down a lost cause in the attacking third. Luis Ángel Landín was subbed in but La Naranja was unable to lift its performance as the first half ended.

In the second half, possession for the home team ultimately led to much improved play. With Landín providing options for a midfield that was holding the ball and picking out better passes, that helped threaten the attacking third with regularity, even if clear-cut chances were coming few and far between.

That changed in the 53rd minute with a little help from RSL’s Jamison Olave. Having come into the attack, left back Mike Chabala spotted Cameron’s run into the penalty box and tried to thread an inch perfect pass to him. While it looked like Cameron wouldn’t be able to get to it, Olave still felt the need to grab Cameron from behind in the box and referee Marruffo pointed to the spot. Brad Davis would take the opportunity and make no mistake as Houston tied the game 1-1.

Mere minutes later, it was déjà vu all over again.

Cameron harassed Beckerman in midfield eventually causing him to lose possession. Cameron then found Oduro in acres of space on the right, who in turn found Landín in the box with a near perfect cross. The Mexican forward settled nicely before switching the ball to his right when Olave was at it again. The Colombian defender took out Landín’s plant leg and while it can be said that the forward embellished the foul to earn the call, there was definite contact which prohibited him from a scoring opportunity. With a clear penalty called and a yellow card to boot for Olave, it was all going terribly wrong for RSL by this point.

Davis would once again take the PK, this time going to Rimando’s left to score and to put the Dynamo up 2-1 in bizarre fashion.

La Naranja continued to control possession nicely without much success. RSL would push for an equalizer as the second half wore on, coming closest in the 70th minute on Fabian Espindola’s effort which beat Onstad but not the post.

In the end, the Men in Orange’s two penalty kicks was enough to claim the first win of the season.