Houston Dynamo FC played to a 2-2 draw with their longtime in-state rivals FC Dallas tonight at BBVA Stadium.
The result was the second tie of the year between the two sides, meaning that the annual Texas Derby rivalry series will be decided in the third and final meeting on Saturday, Sept. 18 in Houston.
Houston took the lead in the 25th minute after Dynamo forward Fafa Picault drew a penalty. He collected a long diagonal ball from midfielder Darwin Cerén on the left flank and cut inside the penalty area, where he was bundled over by Dallas defender Nkosi Tafari.
Picault calmly buried his spot kick, sending Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer the wrong way and burying his shot in the right side netting for his sixth goal of the year. Picault has now scored in both games against FC Dallas and, dating back to last year, each of the last three meetings between the two sides.
Dallas leveled the match in the 54th minute off a corner kick. The initial corner was blocked, as was the second ball, but the third ball fell to Tafari, who was able to put it into an empty net. Forward Ricardo Pepi made it 2-1 Dallas in the 58th when he finished off of a feed from midfielder Jesus Ferreira.
Dynamo midfielder Matías Vera put Houston back on level terms with a goal from long range in the 72nd minute. Houston’s pressing system caused a turnover near midfield and the ball found its way to right back Zarek Valentin. The defender quickly played it forward to Vera, who carried it toward goal and uncorked a shot from 25 yards that beat Maurer low to the near post.
Houston pressed for the winner throughout the final 15 minutes. Forward Ari Lassiter had a go at goal in the 83rd minute, firing a left-footed shot from the top of the penalty area that forced a save from Maurer to keep the game square.
Goalkeeper Marko Marić came up with a massive save to keep things even in the 88th minute, leaping high to deny a long-range shot from Ferreira.
Picault and forward Griffin Dorsey each created dangerous chances in the final 10 minutes by driving to the byline and playing balls into the center of the box, but each time Dallas players were able to cut out the threat. The match came to an end after Valentin and Dorsey worked to get a cross in from the right flank in the fifth minute of stoppage time and Dallas defender Ema Twumwasi cleared it away.
The Dynamo will continue a four-game home stretch next weekend with a matchup with Minnesota United FC at BBVA Stadium. Kickoff for that game is set for 8 p.m. CDT.