Houston Dynamo FC earned two more points in Leagues Cup play, earning a 2-2 draw versus Club Santos Laguna at Shell Energy Stadium before defeating the Liga MX team 5-4 in the ensuing penalty kick shootout. Houston now sits atop the group with points after tonight’s result, which will be decided on July 29 when Santos face Orlando City SC in Florida.
The penalty kick shootout saw every player from both sides convert their attempts until the final kick when Raúl López put the ball to the right over the crossbar, earning Houston a 5-4 victory.
The Dynamo took the lead in the 14th minute after midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla played a ball into the box that fell to forward Corey Baird for his first goal of the tournament. Baird and forward Amine Bassi have now scored in three tournaments (regular season, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and Leagues Cup) for the team this season.
The Dynamo doubled their lead in the 26th minute after defender Griffin Dorsey dribbled along the top of the box and beat the Santos goalkeeper at the far post. The play began with a run from captain Héctor Herrera who found Dorsey open in space.
Club Santos Laguna pulled a goal back in the first minute of first half stoppage time. The Dynamo backline denied Duván Vergara’s shot on target, but the ball fell to Harold Preciado for his first goal of the tournament.
Santos scored the equalizer in the 62nd minute after they were awarded a penalty kick for a foul inside the box. Video assistant referee Diego Montaño Robles was consulted to review the foul and ultimately awarded the penalty kick. Preciado converted the penalty kick for his second goal of the game.
Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark made the first save of the night in the sixth minute after a strong shot from outside the box from Juan Brunetta. A few minutes later, the 37-year-old made another important stop, crowding Harold Preciado to squander the chance just outside the six-yard box. Clark’s eight saves tonight tied his career-high tally.
The Dynamo was denied at the goal line in the 38th minute after Bassi found Herrera in the box, the Dynamo captain chipped the ball over the goalkeeper, but a Santos defender lunged to clear the ball.
Carrasquilla dribbled into the box in the final moments of the first half and played a ball back to Herrera at the edge of the box. The captain just missed the inside of the near post.
Dynamo forward Aliyu Ibrahim was denied at the goal line in the 56th minute. Dorsey found the forward unmarked at the far post, but his header was cleared by a Santos defender.
Clark was called into action again in the 68th minute to deny Brunetta’s free kick at the bottom corner of the far post. The veteran goalkeeper stepped up again in the 75th minute with a quick reaction save on a half-volley shot from inside the box.
Dynamo forward Iván Franco created space for a shot in the 80th minute, but his effort went over the crossbar.
Defender Franco Escobar secured position on the left wing in the 90th minute, and his delivery bounced off goalkeeper Gibrán Lajud’s hands. The deflection fell to Bassi in the box, but the bouncing ball made for a difficult shot which fell into the hands of Lajud.