A late goal by the New England Revolution gave the Houston Dynamo a 2-1 loss at Gillette Stadium this evening.
Houston netted the first goal of the game thanks to midfielder Darwin Cerén in the 25th minute. Forward Romell Quioto played a corner kick to the back post and although the Revolution cleared the initial ball, it fell to Cerén at the top of the penalty area for a first-touch volley. The shot deflected off a Revs defender and slipped past goalkeeper Matt Turner at the near post.
The Dynamo took the lead into intermission, but New England equalized in the 51st minute off of a corner kick of their own. Defender Antonio Mlinar Delamea got on the end of a corner from midfielder Diego Fagundez at the back post and directed his headed shot just inside goalkeeper Joe Willis’ left post.
Both teams searched for the go-ahead goal throughout the second half, but the match appeared destined to end in a draw until Revolution forward Teal Bunbury struck in the 91st minute. Forward Cristian Penilla broke into the penalty area along Houston’s right flank and cut the ball back across the face of goal. The ball somehow made its way through a sea of legs to Bunbury, who placed a left-footed shot past three sliding Dynamo defenders and into the net for the winner.
After New England equalized, Houston nearly regained the lead six minutes later, once again through Quioto. The forward slipped behind New England’s back line and onto a through pass from forward Mauro Manotas, but his left-footed shot from a tight angle was saved by Turner. Houston shouted for a handball on the rebound, but referee Silviu Petrescu quickly waved aside the objections.
Manotas was inches from a goal in the 60th after a nifty one-two with Hairston. The Colombian slipped a ball to forward Marlon Hairston, who quickly fed a return ball in behind the Revs back line. Unfortunately for Houston, Manotas, shot hit the side netting.
New England had a golden look at the go-ahead goal in the 68th minute through forward Juan Caicedo, but his shot from a tight angle inside the six-yard box was parried over the bar by Willis. Willis came up big again in the 71st, getting down quickly to smother a close-range shot from New England forward Juan Agudelo.
Willis continued to make himself big in the 75th and 76th minutes, first coming off his line to cut down the angle for New England forward Cristian Penilla, then denying him again in a one-on-one situation a minute later. The Houston goalkeeper finished with five saves on the night and was quick off his line to snuff out several other potential chances before they materialized.
Houston created the first dangerous scoring threat of the game when Quioto worked his way into the penalty area on the left flank. The Honduran drove to the end line before sliding a ball across the face of goal. The pass was just inches away from Hairston’s sliding effort at the back post.
Quioto again proved to be the danger man in the 16th minute with a curling right-footed shot from 25 yards that forced a diving save from Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner at his left post. Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis cam up with a huge save of his own in the 20th, using his left foot to keep the ball out of his net, stonewalling a Revs shot from close range.
Houston had a trio of golden looks at goal in the 23rd minute. Quioto whipped another ball across the penalty area, finding Hairston at the back post, but the forward’s two-touch effort was initially stopped by Turner. The loose ball fell back to Hairston, who laid off to midfielder Darwin Cerén near the penalty spot. The Salvadorian international had two chances, the second of which was cleared off the line by Revs defender Andrew Farrell.
Two minutes later, Quioto again took his chances from distance and forced a save from Turner, this time from the left flank on a high curling shot that forced Turner to push it over for the corner that led to the opening goal.
Defender Chris Duvall and forward Michael Salazar each made their regular-season debuts for the Dynamo. Both players featured in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, but made their first league appearances this evening.
Houston return to BBVA Stadium on Wednesday, July 3 to host the New York Red Bulls (8 p.m. CDT | KUBE 57) for the third match of the 713 series. The 713 Series features a $7 general admission ticket, $1 hot dogs and $3 beer. Tickets are available online at HoustonDynamo.com or by phone at 713-276-4625 (GOAL).