The Houston Dynamo Academy U-18 team dropped a 1-0 decision to the Foundation for Educating Salvadorans (FESA) on Saturday at Carl Lewis Track & Field Complex. After dominating play in the first half, FESA tallied an early goal in the second half to claim the road victory.
FESA threatened on a quick through-ball during the opening two minutes of action, but the Dynamo defense stilled the attack, not allowing a shot on goal. The visitors' offensive momentum proved to be temporary, as the Dynamo maintained possession in their offensive end for the majority of the first half.
Each team received a quality look on goal off of set pieces near the 10-minute mark, but the chances proved fruitless. Dynamo forward Eduardo Mungia's effort sailed over the crossbar, and FESA was denied a tally after a key save by Dynamo goalkeeper Rommel Morales. Morales finished the half with three saves.
The Dynamo, who earned seven corner kicks during the half in comparison to FESA's two, applied steady pressure to El Salvador's back-line during the first period, but the offense yielded only two shots on goal after several chances strayed off target. Stanford-bound midfielder Clayton Holtz recorded the team's first attempt on net, driving a ball low into the box, but the FESA goalkeeper smothered the strike to keep the teams even.
FESA's offense relied heavily on the counter-attack, but the visitors failed to convert during the opening 45 minutes, causing the teams to enter the break tied, 0-0.
FESA wasted little time in the second half, scoring the game's first goal in the 52nd minute. The Salvadoran forward slid the ball just past an extended Morales to gain the 1-0 advantage.
Only five minutes after falling behind, the Dynamo nearly leveled the match as a low cross from the wing beat FESA's goalkeeper, but midfielder Josue Garcia's strike skimmed the outside of the post and veered out of bounds. In a hotly contested game, neither team could establish a pure goal-scoring opportunity for the remainder of the match.
The Dynamo Academy continues play against FESA later this week at San Jacinto College, hosting a U-17 match-up on Monday, July 14 and another U-18 contest Wednesday, July 16. Both matches are scheduled to kick off at 6:15 p.m.