FC Dallas 4, Houston Dynamo 1 | MLS Match Recap
FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas has punched a ticket to the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, and they did it in impressive fashion.
Dallas completed the season sweep of the Texas Derby and in-turn diminished the Houston Dynamo’s playoff hopes, defeating the Dynamo 4-1 Sunday afternoon at Toyota Stadium.
The home squad came out with their foot on the gas, running with an extra pep in their step and finding early chances from set pieces and in transition.
Dallas found their first goal in the 24th minute after David Texeira took a long pass on the Houston side and found Fabian Castillo amid a slew of Houston defenders. The Colombian speedster, who received his second national team call-up this week, worked his way into the box and was tripped up by Rasheed Olabiyi, leading to a Dallas penalty kick. Mauro Diaz stepped to the spot and fired a shot to the right of an incorrectly guessing Tyler Deric to put Dallas on top 1-0.
Houston responded in the 35th minute, when Boniek Garcia slipped the ball to his left to midfielder Ricardo Clark. The 32-year-old worked his way right on the outside of the penalty box and fired a laser that carved through the Dallas back line and zipped to the right of a diving Jesse Gonzalez to even the score at 1-1.
The goal came on Houston’s only shot of the first half, where Dallas outshot the Dynamo 5-1 and possessed the ball nearly 60 percent of the opening 45.
Houston came out of the locker room more aggressively than they did to open the game and obtained an early chance in the Dallas box. However, Gonzalez was on his toes and thwarted a Leonel Miranda stinger.
But Dallas began a surge starting in the 49th minute that proved to be the difference in the game. Defender Zach Loyd initiated a counter, taking the ball in space and eventually finding Texeira open on the edge of the Houston third. Dallas’ forward from Uruguay took advantage of the space around him and fired a beautiful shot from well outside the Houston box that went over Deric’s head and off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net.
Just four minutes after Texeira’s rocket’ gave Dallas a lead, midfielder Kellyn Acosta added to it. Castillo received a pass from Diaz in space on the left flank, who in turn found Acosta inside the Houston penalty box. Acosta fired his shot off past a diving Deric and off the bottom of the crossbar, caroming into the net to increase the Dallas advantage 3-1.
Texeira added a second goal in stoppage time to pour salt on the wound after finding himself in a 1v1 situation against Deric on the left side of the Houston box. He drilled the ball past an isolated Deric to make the final 4-1.
The loss does not eliminate the Dynamo from postseason consideration, as they sit only three points out of the final playoff spot. But they only have two games remaining on the schedule, both against Western Conference powers in the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps. FC Dallas meanwhile will continue jockeying for playoff seeding and are now tied atop the Western Conference and are one point behind the New York Red Bulls for the Supporters' Shield lead.
Dallas has a quick turnaround and travels to Vancouver for a Western Conference heavyweight battle on Wednesday. Houston has a week off before hosting Seattle on Sunday, October 18.