A 51st-minute Hans Denissen penalty kick was enough for the San Antonio Scorpions to best the Houston Dynamo as they claimed a 1-0 victory in the third round of the US Open Cup on Tuesday.
Denissen got his chance when crafty former Real Salt Lake and San Jose Earthquakes forward Pablo Campos drew a foul from rookie right back Warren Creavalle a yard inside the 18-yard box. Both players were chasing a hopeful, bouncing ball and Creavalle wrapped his leg around Campos, who had position, drawing the whistle.
Denissen hit a crushing penalty off the underside of the crossbar and just beyond the goal line. Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric guessed right on Denissen’s take but the sheer force and placement made it impossible to save.
Both clubs started slow and committed their fair of fouls early as both looked to find their legs and flow in the first half. The result was a slow first half that finished scoreless with just a handful of chances.
Instead of dropping back after the goal, San Antonio threatened to extend their lead. Campos, Denissen and Wes Knight attempted to double the lead but a combination of solid goalkeeping from Deric, who made a great diving save on Denissen’s attempt, and wayward finishing preserved the Scorpions' lead.
Houston did have chances to equalize down the stretch. Brian Ownby, who brought a lot of energy as a second-half sub in his professional debut, made several probing runs including an 89th minute gallop that resulted in a left-footed shot that was saved easily. In the end the Dynamo were unable to pull one back and the Scorpions advanced past their fellow Texans.
San Antonio will face the Charlotte Eagles – who toppled FC Dallas 2-0 – in the fourth round on June 5.