The Houston Dynamo rallied late to snatch a point against Nashville SC with a 1-1 draw this afternoon at Nissan Stadium. It was th first meeting between the two sides, with Nashville having joined Major League Soccer this season.
Houston defender Maynor Figueroa grabbed a late equalizer when he headed home a chip from forward Darwin Quintero in the 90th minute. Houston had been pressing for the tying goal for 15 minutes, only to see chance after chance deflected out for corner kicks. Finally, midfielder Memo Rodriguez’s corner forced Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis to come off his line, but his attempted clearance fell to the feet of Quintero off the back post, and he chipped the ball back across the face of goal where Figueroa headed it into the back of the net.
After a scoreless first half, Nashville broke the deadlock in the 49th minute through forward Daniel Ríos. Forward Derrick Jones, who came on as a halftime substitute, carried the ball down the left flank, drawing a trio of defenders before laying off to Ríos at the top of the penalty area. The striker side-footed a shot into the lower right corner to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
Despite trailing for much of the second half and needing the late goal to equalize, the Dynamo were the stronger team over the course of 90 minutes by most metrics. Houston controlled possession, holding the ball for 57.9 percent of the match, attempted nearly 200 more passes than Nashville, completed a higher percentage of their attempted passes, and outshot their opponents 18-9.
Rodriguez had one of Houston’s most dangerous chances when he attempted a daring and inventive backheel from inside the six-yard box that forced a desperate save from Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis in the 37th minute. Rodriguez led the Dynamo with five shots in the match.
Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas, making his 100th start for the club in league play, went the distance and was second to Rodriguez with three shots in the contest.
After back-to-back matches away from home, the Dynamo will return to the friendly confines of BBVA Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 3 when they host Sporting Kansas City at 7 p.m. CDT. Houston has defeated Sporting in two of their three meetings this season and will look to secure the season series with a win or draw.