HOUSTON — The Houston Dynamo experienced their first Dynamo Charities Cup loss in the challenge’s three-year history on Wednesday night, dropping a 2-0 result to English Premier League side Bolton Wanderers at Robertson Stadium.
The game did, however, draw a record crowd for the annual event as 13,612 were on hand to see Ivan Klasnic and Bolton captain Kevin Davies score for the English side.
Both teams held their own in a match that saw the Houston Dynamo run out a majority of their starting lineup. Houston battled Bolton for the possession and equaled the EPL side with 12 shots on the night.
While the run of play was close, the difference in the game was Bolton’s ability to create quality chances. Bolton bested Houston 6-2 in shots on goal to test Houston reserve goalkeeper Tyler Deric.
The scoring started in the 32 minute when Klasnic beat Houston defender Eddie Robinson in the box. Davies — who finished the night with a goal and an assist — then flicked on an attacking throw that found Klasnic’s head, giving the EPL side a first-half lead.
Davies then added the winner in the 58th minute when he took advantage of an open-net opportunity. Deric came way off his line but failed to get to a through-ball that released Martin Petrov into space. Petrov played a strong ball through the box, and after Robinson was unable to make a clearance across his body, Davies was waiting to tap in the Wanderers' second.
Houston’s best chance came in the 77th minute. Brad Davis — who came on in the 75th minute for an injured Robinson — sent one of his patented left-footed crosses through the 18-yard box. After being knocked around, the ball found its way to Danny Cruz, who fired a low, right-footed shot to the near post to force Bolton ‘keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to make a diving save — one of only two on the night for the Finnish international.
The win caps Bolton’s US tour with two wins and a loss. Houston continue MLS play on Saturday night when they travel to Los Angeles for the second of their series with Chivas USA, whom they beat 2-1 in Houston on June 11.
BOL -- Ivan Klasnic (Kevin Davies) 32
BOL -- Kevin Davies (Martin Petrov) 58
BOL -- David Wheater (caution; Reckless Foul) 50
Bolton Wanderers -- Jussi Jaaskelainen, Gretar Steinsson (Mark Connolly 80), Gary Cahill, Zat Knight (David Wheater 46), Paul Robinson (Tope Obadeyi 81), Chung-Yong Lee (Marcos Alonso 67), Ricardo Gardner (Fabrice Muamba 61), Darren Pratley (Mark Davies 46), Martin Petrov, Kevin Davies, Ivan Klasnic (Robbie Blake 61).
Substitutes Not Used: Adam Bogdan, Rob Lainton.
Houston Dynamo -- Tyler Deric, Hunter Freeman (Kofi Sarkodie 60), Bobby Boswell, Eddie Robinson (Brad Davis 72), Andre Hainault (Corey Ashe 60) (Francisco Navas Cobo 78), Alex Dixon, Je-Vaughn Watson (Josue Soto 67), Bjorn Lindemann (Danny Cruz 61), Colin Clark, Cam Weaver (Jason Garey 46), Will Bruin (Miler Castillo 61).
Substitutes Not Used: Tally Hall, Alvaro Sanchez.
Referee: Alex Prus
Referee's Assistants: Adam Garner; Greg Boles
4th Official: Armando Villarreal
Time of Game: 1:47
Weather: Cloudy and 89 degrees