Houston Dynamo FC's late rally in the second half fell just short as the Dynamo fell to Minnesota United 2-1 at PNC Stadium Saturday evening.
Houston cut Minnesota’s 2-0 lead in half in the 86th minute when forward Fafa Picault picked up the ball on the left flank and cut inside onto his right foot before curling a shot from outside the 18-yard box past the goalkeeper and inside the far post.
Minnesota took the lead in the second minute of stoppage time of the first half after Bongokuhle Hlongwane found Franco Fragapane behind the Dynamo backline. The midfielder dribbled past the Dynamo goalkeeper and finished for his third goal of the season.
Minnesota scored again in the 72nd minute after Niko Hansen found Bongokuhle Hlongwane at the edge of the box. Hlongwane cut inside to create space for a shot and found the bottom corner of the far post for his first goal of the season.
Houston had one last chance in the third minute of second half stoppage time when the ball was played into the center of the box. Forward Sebastian Ferreira took a touch inside the six-yard box but the Loons goalkeeper was able to smother the ball and stop the attack.
Rookie forward Thor Úlfarsson nearly found the back of the net off a cross from open play in the third minute of the game, but his effort just missed the inside of the near post. Úlfarsson’s header in the 62nd off a cross from defender Zeca nearly leveled the score at 1-1, but Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair was able to corral it.
Houston dominated possession throughout the contest, controlling the ball for nearly 75 percent of the contest and attempted more than twice as many passes as the Loons. The Dynamo outshot Minnesota 22-9 and won 13 corner kicks to Minnesota’s one.
The Dynamo open a two-game road trip next Saturday in Pennsylvania against the Philadelphia Union. The Dynamo return to PNC Stadium on Aug. 13 to host Club de Foot Montreal for 713 Night. For tickets and additional information, visit HoustonDynamoFC.com.