Sunday, July 15, 2007

Houston Dynamo 0 TFC 0

Whew, yeah, whew, a tie on the road and a little bit of justice for TFC against a team that is supposed to be top quality (although I remain unconvinced based on their play against TFC, now both home and away).
OK I am a fan and a blogger, not a neutral observer. The quality of this game was looking shaky to begin with. TFC often struggles on the road and the Houston Dynamo is going for the record of MLS minutes without allowing a goal. So fans were not expecting a goal fest.
Houston did have the upper hand at the start, a hit post and a handful of near misses seemed to be a hint that they would start scoring, but it never happened.
Edu getting a red card in the first half turned the game into a bog. The Dynamo were throwing what fire power they had and TFC was holding their positions, marking their men and allowing Serge to make some solid saves. It was ugly, but it was efficient ugly.
Credit to Mo for some cagey substitutions. Poz for Dichio was a bit heartbreaking, but you could see the sense. Lombardo for Samuels was a wonderful move. Lombardo would keep the pressure on whenever given the chance (which was the role of Collin Samuels too, but the fresh legs helped). Lombardo's counter-attacks down the right with O"Brien and Wynne kept the flicker of hope for a goal well against the run of play alive.
Back to that red card moment. I thought the call was a bit harsh and seemed to be the result of a circus on the field. You got the feeling that TFC lost a debate. I think that Maurice Edu is a quality player, a solid rookie and a fair play sort of individual. It was a mistimed challenge and did not seem vicious or reckless.
One more road game to go and TFC now have 6 points from 5 games, which is decent and keeps them in the playoff picture. The game next weekend against Columbus Crew now looms very large as I think they hold the playoff spot that TFC covets.

PS- Houston did set the MLS record of longest streak of minutes with no goals allowed during the second half.

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