Houston Dynamo beat FC Dallas 2-1.
Rivalry matches are their own kind of animal, and the Texas Derby is no exception. The first leg between the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas on Saturday had controversy and conflict that paled in comparison to the drama ahead of the match. I played into the narrative with the final lines of my last article, but the situation heated up over the week – sparking into a blaze on Thursday.
Ahead of this season, the front office announced the addition of a cannon in the stadium, perched above the supporters’ section. While it does allude to El Capitán, the oft-traded derby trophy, this one is orange and will be a permanent fixture in Dynamo stadium.
The original article released about the cannon indicated that the FO would work with supporters to name the new cannon. At the home opener, it was announced that the cannon would be called “Ponce” after an amazing man and fan that the Dynamo family lost in 2016.
Thursday evening, Dallas’s Twitter account released an animation poking fun at Houston’s new cannon, implying that we had purchased our own replacement since El Capitán is currently being held outside of Dallas.
Houston fans were livid and responded quickly. Some reminded Dallas of their own habit of purchasing items that they hadn’t managed to earn, re-sharing a rivalry tweet that I have mentioned. Others called for Dallas to delete the tweet and scolded them for desecrating the tribute to our late friend.
After some initial pushback, Dallas did, in fact, delete the tweet and posted this apology.
The fire had started, however, and Houston fans came into Saturday’s match looking for vengeance.
It appeared that Houston spent much of its passion on the rivalry hype and had little left to bring onto the pitch. While they did dominate gameplay in the first half, the cohesion and finishing finesse that marked the team’s early success was missing.
Turnovers were plentiful, and even our penalty goal in the first half was the result of a lazy dive from Alberth Elis (that’s right, I said it!). The team’s second-half goal from Mauro Manotas was the only hint of the level of play that has been seen this year.
Dynamo fans’ fear of the last 10 minutes, where so many games were lost last season, returned as the final moments brought Dallas’s best efforts, the referee’s strangest moments, and near-tragedy for Houston.
Dallas’s Badji wiped out Houston’s clean sheet with a goal at 87’. Houston’s McNamara received a yellow card at 88’ which the ref reviewed randomly for 4 minutes. Houston defender Cabezas committed a silly foul at 96’ which Mosquera almost converted to a goal, had he not lined up for the free kick in an offside position.
The Dynamo were tied at 2-2 for a full minute before the goal was called back unceremoniously and we were able to walk away with the win. Regardless of how they were earned, we will take those three points and see Dallas again on their home turf in August.
Featured image: @lesliecphotos
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