Despite playing down a man for nearly an hour, Houston Dynamo FC defeated Nashville SC 2-0 tonight at PNC Stadium.
The win improves the team to 4-4-3 on the year and 3-1-3 at home in league play and 5-1-3 in all competitions.
The Dynamo took the lead in the 16th minute after midfielder Memo Rodriguez forced a save from Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis. The rebound fell to midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla near the penalty spot where he hammered it into the back of the net for his first goal of the year. Houston exercised the option to purchase Carrasquilla from FC Cartagena in Spain on Tuesday and the 23-year-old is now under contract with the club through 2024 plus one option year.
Houston went down to 10 men in the 35th minute after referee Ramy Touchan sent off defender Adam Lundkvist for a tackle. Touchan went to the monitor to review the play with the MLS Video Review Center in Atlanta prior to confirming the ruling on the field.
The Dynamo doubled their lead in the 53rd minute after forward Fafa Picault won a penalty kick. Picault was brought down inside the box as he attempted to dribble away from Willis near the edge of the box. Forward Darwin Quintero converted from the penalty spot for his fifth goal of the season.
Houston’s first threat of the game came in the 12th minute after Quintero intercepted a ball outside the box and won a corner kick. The ensuing set piece found defender Teenage Hadebe inside the box, but his header was off target.
Dynamo forward Thor Úlfarsson made his first start for the team in league play this evening and nearly scored his first MLS goal in the 26th minute. Quintero found the 21-year-old near the penalty spot, but his effort went just wide of the far post.
Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark was called into action in the 69th minute and was well positioned to save Hany Mukhtar’s header. The Dynamo shot stopper finished with two saves on the night.
The Dynamo will continue a stretch of five games in 17 days on Wednesday night when they host the newly-crowned Concacaf Champions League winners, the Seattle Sounders, at PNC Stadium. Kickoff for that match is set for 7:30 p.m. CDT and tickets are available at HoustonDynamoFC.com/Tickets.