Houston Dynamo FC took an early lead against Austin FC but ultimately fell by a 3-1 final score tonight at Q2 Stadium.
The Dynamo took the lead in the 11th minute after defender Adam Lundkvist found midfielder Coco Carrasquilla near midfield. Carrasquilla and Julio Cascante jockeyed for control of the ball for about 10 yards as both men sprinted toward the endline before the Panamanian international won the duel to create space for an uncontested shot. Carrasquilla calmly beat Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver with a low shot between his legs.
The home team equalized four minutes later off of a free kick outside the box. Midfielder Diego Fagúndez took the set piece and beat the Dynamo goalkeeper with a perfectly-placed curling shot inside the upper right corner of the goal.
Austin’s second goal of the game came off the right foot of forward Maxi Urruti in the 57th minute. Sebastián Driussi played the ball wide left to Urruti, who whipped a low shot back across and inside the bottom corner of the right post.
The hosts would add to their lead 13 minutes later after midfielder Ethan Finlay found Alex Ring at the near post. Finlay’s cross floated over the Dynamo back line where Ring ran onto it and headed it into the net.
Houston goalkeeper Steve Clark came up with a pair of big saves late on to keep his team within striking distance, twice denying winger Rodney Redes from close range. Clark was credited with three saves on the night.
Houston nearly pulled a goal back in the 84th minute when midfielder Héctor Herrera played an incisive ball forward to attacker Darwin Quintero at the top of the penalty area. The Colombian deftly laid it off to forward Fafa Picault alone inside the area, but his right-footed shot was saved by Stuver. The rebound fell to Picault, whose left-footed follow-up effort was denied by a sliding defender.
Herrera and Quintero combined again in the 91st minute to create a shooting opportunity for midfielder Memo Rodriguez, but the Wharton native’s right-footed blast from distance whistled over the crossbar.
The Dynamo had one final scoring opportunity in the 95th minute when forward Thor Ulfarsson drove to the byline and lofted a ball back across the face of goal to the top of the six-yard box where defender Griffin Dorsey headed a shot on target. Unfortunately for Houston, Stuver was once again able to save the effort and the final whistle blew moments later.
The Dynamo close the week at PayPal Park in northern California when they face the San Jose Earthquakes at 8:30 p.m. CDT on Sunday, July 17. The match will air live in English on AT&T SportsNet and in Spanish on TeleXitos 47.2 The Dynamo return to PNC Stadium on July 23 to host Minnesota United.