The Texas Derby did not disappoint, as the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas played to 1-1 draw Thursday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Ronaldo Peña scored the equalizer in the 88th minute after Tomas Martinez played him a pass. Peña was able to turn on FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges and take a shot on goal. The ball went near post and hit the fingertips of FCD goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, giving the Dynamo the late point at home.
It’s Peña’s first goal since signing with the Dynamo (7-11-7) on July 5. He had only played 61 minutes of Major League Soccer action before entering in the 83rd minute for Alberth Elis.
FC Dallas (13-5-7) had taken the lead five minutes prior, creating a goal out of nothing. After a clearance by Maurer, Dallas forward Cristian Colman headed the ball, which looked to be comfortable for Dynamo fullback Andrew Wenger until Micheal Barrios pressured him. Barrios seized on the turnover and poked it past Houston keeper Joe Willis to give Dallas a lead.
Barrios had scored or assisted in his last five matches and he provided an impact on the wings once again. Dallas almost made it 2-0 in the 86th minute when Barrios found himself in space on the wing. He played a ball to Colman, who was open in the box, but the Paraguayan headed it wide of the goal.
In the 71st minute, Dallas winger Ryan Hollingshead found himself on the receiving end of a Maxi Urruti through ball on a counter attack. One-on-one with Willis, Hollingshead took a heavy touch, allowing the Dynamo keeper to make an easy save in a tough situation.
Reggie Cannon saved a sure goal from the Dynamo in the 65th minute. Elis was in space on the wing. He skipped by FCD defender Marquinhos Pedroso before playing a ball in the box, looking to find an open Romell Quioto. Cannon sprung into action, heading the ball away and chasing it down.
Cannon has started every MLS match for Dallas this season in only his second year after signing a Homegrown deal out of UCLA. The right back has been a crucial part of FCD’s success defensively and his continued maturity is an added bonus to an already stable backline.
The first half was eventful as the Dynamo looked to reverse a five-match losing streak. In the 19th minute, Elis played a ball into the Dallas box. After a scramble, the ball ended up on Mauro Manotas’ foot, open and with space. Hedges made a crucial block to keep things equal.
Elis almost had a goal of his own, finding Martinez’s corner and beating Maurer to the ball. Elis headed it over the bar in the 42nd minute as the match stayed level at zero.
The best opportunity of the first half fell to the Dynamo and Martinez in stoppage time. Manotas was able to create space by cutting past Hedges in the box. Forcing Figueroa to commit, Manotas found a free Martinez. The one-time effort looked goal-bound, but pulled it just wide of the post, ending the half.
Dallas will travel to San Jose Wednesday to take on the Earthquakes, while the Dynamo will play midweek as well against the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, NJ. Both teams will meet again on September 1 in Frisco for the last matchup of the regular season.