Houston Dynamo FC defeated Austin FC 3-2 at St. David’s Performance Center earlier today in the opening game of the La Copita preseason tournament for both teams. Houston scored three times in the second half to improve to 5-0-0 overall this preseason and 1-0-0 in La Copita.
Houston scored the game-winning goal in the 71st minute after forward Maxi Urruti launched a long diagonal pass down the left sideline. Speedy Dynamo forward Fafa Picault raced past defender Julio Cascante to force a one-on-one opportunity with the Austin goalkeeper and score his second goal of the match.
Austin took a 1-0 lead into halftime after a well-placed free-kick from midfielder Tomás Pochettino in the 16th minute, but Houston equalized in the 54th minute after Picault capitalized on a loose ball inside the box that unbalanced the Austin backline. The forward took a touch toward the near post to create space for a shot that crawled toward the far post.
Houston took the lead two minutes later after midfielder Matías Vera chipped in a ball to Urruti. The ball floated over an Austin defender to the Argentine forward, who spun on his left foot and laced a right-footed side volley into the back of the net with his first touch.
Austin scored their second and final goal of the game in the 66th minute after a rebound off of a save from Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Marić. The Croatian saved Alex Ring’s initial effort from distance, but the ball fell into the path of an oncoming Rodney Redes, who headed the ball into the back of the net.
Maric finished with five saves in his first preseason game against an MLS opponent, including a big save in the final 10 minutes to deny Austin forward Jon Gallagher in a one-on-one situation at close range and preserve the win.
Midfielder Memo Rodriguez scored the only goal in a 30-minute scrimmage that followed the first contest of the day. The scrimmage also featured Homegrown player Daniel Rios and two Dynamo Academy players, Jathan Juarez and Kieran Sargent.
The Dynamo host OKC Energy in La Copita action at 12:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, April 6 at Aveva Stadium. The preseason game is free and open to the public, additional information is available at HoustonDynamoFC.com.