Houston Dynamo FC advanced to the Leagues Cup Round of 16 after a 5-3 penalty shootout victory over the top-seeded team from Liga MX C.F. Pachuca on Wednesday night at Shell Energy Stadium.
Houston will next face the winner of Charlotte FC and Cruz Azul, who play at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas on Thursday, August 3 at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark made the only save of the penalty shootout, diving to the left to stop Pachuca’s fourth kick from Tony Figueroa. Midfielder Luis Caicedo buried Houston’s fifth kick into the left side netting to send the home crowd into rapture
Forward Aliyu Ibrahim had Houston’s first shot of the night in the sixth minute after midfielder Griffin Dorsey delivered a looping ball into the six-yard box from the right side. The 22-year-old’s shot was blocked to keep the score tied early.Pachuca almost opened scoring the 22nd minute when Érick Sánchez took a shot from long range. Clark managed to get his body in front of the ball to send it wide of the post. The veteran goalkeeper ended the match with two saves.
Defender Erik Sviatchenko managed Houston’s first shot in target in the 30th minute after captain Héctor Herrera delivered a dangerous ball from a corner kick. The Danish international could not get enough power to beat goalkeeper Carlos Moreno.
In the 38th minute, defender Franco Escobar hustled to a ball rolling on the left side of the pitch, beat two defenders and found defender Micael in space in the penalty box, but the Brazilian’s shot went just over the cross bar.
The best chance of the first half came when midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla found forward Amine Bassi with a weighted pass as he was heading into penalty box. The 25-year-old’s first-touch shot forced a point-blank save from Moreno.
Clark made an opposite side, fingertip save in the 47th minute to send the ball over the crossbar when David Terans attempted an ambitious shot from outside the left corner of the penalty box.
In the 53rd minute, Herrera ran though the midfield with the ball and slotted it to forward Nelson Quiñónes running into the left side of the penalty box, but the Colombian’s shot was blocked by the Pachuca defender.
The 65th minute saw Dorsey running up the right wing with the ball. The midfielder backheeled it to forward Corey Baird, who let the ball go through to Bassi, but the forward just missed the target to the right.
Quiñónes was brought down with a tactical foul in the 70th minute after he broke free from his defender to the left of the penalty box. Herrera went directly for goal on the ensuing free kick, which almost had enough movement to dip under the bar.
Pachuca almost took the late lead in the 79th minute when Sánchez’s shot from outside the middle of the penalty box carried just over the cross bar.