The Houston Dynamo and Inter Miami CF waited out a brief weather delay at Inter Miami CF Stadium before the hosts capitalized on a penalty kick to capture a 1-0 win. Play was halted in the 31st minute due to lightning in the vicinity of the stadium, sending both clubs to their dressing rooms before returning to action 48 minutes later.
Miami took the lead in the 57th minute through a penalty kick from forward Lewis Morgan. The penalty was issued by referee Drew Fischer when he whistled a Dynamo defender for a foul inside the area on an Inter Miami corner kick. Morgan stepped to the spot and put his shot into the lower right corner of the goal.
Goalkeeper Marko Marić continued his strong run of form, coming up with two outstanding saves to keep things scoreless in the first half and another brilliant reaction save late to keep the Dynamo in it.
The goalkeeper was credited with three saves in the match. As part of Major League Soccer and MLS WORKS’ Every Save Makes A Difference program, Allstate and TUDN will donate $500 to charity for each save that a team’s goalkeeper makes during matches televised on the network. That means that Marić earned $1,500 for Dynamo Charities through his play this evening.
Marić made an athletic diving save off of Morgan in the 23rd minute and a fantastic reaction save off of Miami captain Gonzalo Higuain in the 40th minute to send the match to halftime scoreless. Marić denied Higuain once again in the 53rd minute, reacting quickly to get his left hand onto a close-range volley from the Miami captain and push the ball up and over the crossbar.
Just ahead of intermission, Houston was inches from grabbing the lead in the 42nd minute through center back Kiki Struna. After left back Adam Lundkvist did well to earn a Houston corner kick, the initial corner was cleared, but Houston was able to regain possession and recycle the ball twice before right back Zarek Valentin eventually slipped a centering pass to the edge of the six-yard box where Struna slid to put a toe on it, but his effort rolled just wide of the target.
After the penalty, Houston came close to equalizing in the 71st minute when forward Darwin Quintero slipped a nifty through-pass behind the Miami back line for forward Ari Lassiter. The young Costa Rican raced on to the ball near the six-yard box, but Miami goalkeeper John McCarthy was quick off his line to cut down the angle and deny Lassiter from close range.
Houston continued to press for the equalizer late and created another chance in the 86th minute through forward Christian Ramirez. The striker worked into a good position near the edge of the penalty area to the left of goal and curled a left-footed shot toward the corner of the goal, but his effort just missed wide.
The busy slate of games continues for Houston, as they return home for a midweek tilt with Eastern Conference side Nashville SC. Houston and Nashville met on Sept. 26 in Tennessee, with the Dynamo snatching a point with a goal from defender Maynor Figueroa in the waning moments to pull out a 1-1 draw. Kickoff for Wednesday’s match is set for 7 p.m. CDT, and it will be televised live throughout the Greater Houston area on QuestTEXAS Ch. 55.