HOUSTON (Saturday, April 10, 2021) – Houston Dynamo FC closed out the preseason with a 3-0 defeat to FC Dallas in the final match of the La Copita preseason tournament this afternoon at BBVA Stadium.
Dallas struck first in the 37th minute through forward Franco Jara. After Dallas switched the point of attack, Jara worked a one-two with a teammate to get free near the top of the penalty area and his left-footed shot beat goalkeeper Marko Marić to the far post.
Dallas doubled the lead in the 41st through defender Ryan Hollingshead. Midfielder Andrés Ricuarte slipped a pass through Houston’s back line to Hollingshead, who was able to just get a touch on it to roll it in before Marić could get to it.
Houston came close to pulling a goal back early in the second half when midfielder Matías Vera dribbled through the heart of the Dallas defense before slipping a diagonal pass to forward Fafa Picault inside the penalty area. Picault’s left-footed shot forced a big save from Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer.
Referee Dave Gantar consulted video review in the 80th minute after a Dynamo free kick appeared to carom off of a Dallas defender’s arm inside the penalty area, but upon review the referee declined to award a penalty, instead awarding a corner kick to the Dynamo.
Dallas scored a third in the 83rd minute when forward Jesús Ferreira ran onto a long outlet pass behind the Dynamo defense and slipped a ball past Marić into the lower corner of the net.
Despite the scoreline, Marić was a stalwart throughout the match, making a number of excellent saves to keep his team in it. In the 11th minute, a Dallas counter resulted in a shot inside the area, but Marić came up with a big save in a one-on-one situation.
The big Croatian ‘keeper was called on to make another massive save in the 34th minute off of a Dallas counter. Forward Jader Obrian sprang free down the right flank and raced into the penalty area with defenders chasing. Marić came off his line and reacted well to push Obrian’s shot up into the crossbar before his teammates could sweep it clear of danger.
Marić made another big save in the 57th minute, this time diving low to his right to push away a shot from distance by Dallas. He came up with another reaction save in the 73rd minute, denying Obrian from close range and then collecting the rebound.
Unofficially, Marić finished the afternoon with six saves.
Following the scrimmage, the two teams played an unofficial 45-minute scrimmage that did not count toward the La Copita standings. FC Dallas won the scrimmage 1-0 on a goal from Kalil El Medkhar. Houston forward Mateo Bajamich hit the post with a shot and goalkeeper Michael Nelson made two saves in one-on-one situations for the Dynamo during the 45-minute session.
The Dynamo will kick off the 2021 season, fueled by 76®, at home on Friday, April 16 against the San Jose Earthquakes at 7 p.m. for Welcome Back to BBVA Stadium Night. For tickets and additional information, visit HoustonDynamoFC.com.