Houston Dynamo Split Doubleheader in Final Preseason Tune-up

CLB Recap 202120

The Houston Dynamo split a two-game slate at Kino Sports Complex today, falling 4-1 to Columbus Crew SC in the final game of the 2020 Visit Tucson Sun Cup this evening and defeating OKC Energy FC 3-1 earlier in the afternoon. 

Forward Gyasi Zardes gave Columbus an early lead when he headed a cross from midfielder Artur in the opening minute of the game. The Crew doubled their lead three minutes later off a corner kick from midfielder Pedro Santos. The cross found Jonathan Mensah at the edge of the six-yard box for the second goal of the game. 

Midfielder Lucas Zelarayan gave Columbus a three-goal lead in the 16th minute after the Argentine capitalized on a second ball near midfield. Zelarayan dribbled to the top of the box and beat Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Marićat the far post. Zardes scored his second goal of the game in the 24th minute off a cross from Harrison Afful.

Dynamo midfielder Tommy McNamara capitalized on a defensive mistake in the 52nd minute for Houston’s first goal of the game. The midfielder controlled an errant pass at the top of the box and beat Crew SC goalkeeper Eloy Room with a curling shot to the near post.

Houston appeared to pull a second goal back in the 89th minute when forward Mauro Manotas slipped in behind the Columbus back line to run onto a through ball from forward Darwin Quintero. Manotas easily converted the chance, but was judged to be offside. It was the first action of the tournament for Quintero as the Colombian prepares for his first season with the Dynamo.

Houston’s first shot of the game came in the 13th minute after midfielder Tomas Martinez was fouled outside the box. Defender Adam Lundkvist took the free kick and controlled the rebound after his initial effort was blocked by the Crew backline. The defender’s second effort was off target.

Houston forced a save in the 22nd minute after Manotas found McNamara at the top of the box. McNamara controlled the cross and his effort toward the bottom corner of the near post was saved by Room.

Winger Niko Hansen had a fantastic opportunity just moments before McNamara’s goal, but was denied by the far post in the 49th minute with a strike from outside the box. His left-footed shot had the goalkeeper beaten but caromed off the woodwork. Manotas tracked the rebound but was not able to make full contact with the ball near the penalty spot.

Forward Christian Ramirez scored a brace earlier today in Houston’s 3-1 victory over OKC Energy FC. DefenderJose Bizama found the forward near the heart of the box and Ramirez beat the OKC goalkeeper at the far post for the final play of the first 30-minute period. Dynamo Academy product Marcelo Palomino found Alejandro Fuenmayor off a corner kick in the 37th minute of the scrimmage. Ramirez scored his second goal of the game from the penalty spot a few minutes later after an OKC defender fouled current Academy player Josh Hallenberger inside the penalty area.