Houston Haunting: LA Galaxy Draw Houston Dynamo

LA Galaxy draw
Houston TX - FEBRUARY 29: Los Angeles Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) dribbles the ball during the MLS match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo on February 29, 2020 at BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TX. – The Houston Dynamo began 2020 where they finished 2019: Hosting LA Galaxy at BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston defeated the Galaxy on Decision Day last year to prevent them from getting a home playoff game. In 2018, they came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Galaxy to keep them out of the playoffs. Would the LA Galaxy draw this match or find a way to end their haunting in Houston.

Houston Haunting: LA Galaxy Draw Houston Dynamo 1-1

Houston had more of the ball to start the game but Los Angeles had the better of the chances. Throughout the game, many of the shooting opportunities for the Dynamo came from out of the box while the Galaxy were active inside the 18.

Just two minutes in, left back Emiliano Insúa found Aleksandar Katai right in front of goal who headed it off the post.

Cristian Pavon opened the scoring just 13 minutes into the match. David Bingham delivered a long ball to spring a counter attack. Pavon dribbled on goal, cut inside, and blasted the ball to the top far corner. The half ended 1-0.

Mauro Manotas tied the game in the 54th minute off a secondary attacking opportunity. Winning the ball back quickly, Zarek Valentin found Manotas in space. Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham came off his line initially to challenge but Manotas shot across goal to find the back of the net.

The match got physical as both sides pushed for a winner. The Galaxy kept trying to find Javier Chicharito Hernandez who was marked tightly by the Dynamo. A crazy sequence happened around the 74th minute. Chicharito found Joe Corona and Sebastian Lletget in back-to-back sequences but they couldn’t convert. The match ended 1-1.

Three Takeaways:

Opportunism leads to goals: Both goals came off great individual efforts from star players. Pavon chose to go it alone on the Galaxy’s goal and had a world class finish to score. Manotas made a great play when he saw an opening to punish a mistake by the Galaxy keeper, to earn an LA Galaxy draw.

Chicharito still hasn’t opened his account: Chicharito did not score at any point in the preseason and was kept off the score sheet in this game as well. This isn’t a concern just yet but his teammates seemed to be forcing the ball to him even when it wasn’t the best option. The sooner he scores, the better regardless of how it comes about.

Defensive issues remain: Both of these teams came into this game with their defense being the key weakness for the season. A mental lapse cost the Galaxy a clean sheet and the Dynamo had several moments where emergency defending bailed them out. Both sides have work to do.

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