Cristian Pavon Penalty Earns Draw, Eliminates Houston From MiB

Cristian Pavon penalty
First Half photos on 07/23 – LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo – Wide World of Sports - Devin L'Amoreaux and Jared Martinez

ORLANDO, Fla. – Darwin Quintero and Houston Dynamo played Cristian Pavon and the LA Galaxy on Thursday. It was the final game of the group stage of the MLS is Back tournament for both teams. A Cristian Pavon penalty late would make all the difference.

Cristian Pavon Penalty Earns Draw, Eliminates Houston From MiB

This game was critical for both teams. Houston had just a point after two games and the Galaxy had lost both of their prior games. Each team needed to win for any hopes of making the knockout stage of the MiB tournament.

The first half saw both teams go for it with Houston opening the scoring.

Darwin Quintero scored in the 17th minute off a set piece from 25 yards out. Quintero curled the ball over the wall to the right side and into the net. The shot caught goalkeeper David Bingham flatfooted who initially leaned the wrong direction (his right) and didn’t make a play on the ball.

Pavon and Julian Araujo led the attack for the Galaxy. Pavon was denied an equalizer in the 26th minute on a set piece as goalkeeper Marko Maric made the save. The half ended 1-0.

LA were more aggressive to start the second half, needing a result while Houston managed the pressure well. Ethan Zubak turned into a target player playing off of Pavon. The Homegrown had a great chance on a header in the 50th minute that was saved by Martic.

The Galaxy were given a lifeline in the 90th minute when Maynor Figueroa was called for a foul in the box on the corner. The Cristian Pavon penalty was converted to make it 1-1. With that final scoreline, LA Galaxy eliminated Houston Dynamo in the group stage.

Three Takeaways:

Dynamo out, NYCFC in: Houston managed the game and scoreline well until the final 20 minutes as they were overrun by LA. The Galaxy found a way to get a goal. With just two points, Houston are out and New York City FC are a best third team to make the knockouts.

Effort and elimination: Both sides made changes in from previous games with some bench and youth players showing good effort. Stoppage time was crazy but the effort was for not. LA Galaxy leave MLS is Back with just a point and Houston are out as well.

Quintero opens Houston account: Quintero was fantastic in the game, subbing out before Houston blew their lead.

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