HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo took firm control of Group 3 on Thursday night with a 4-0 win over CD FAS at BBVA Compass Stadium in the third round of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage.
After getting four crucial points in their first two road matches, the Dynamo knew the opportunity was there to take full control of their CCL destiny. Thanks to continued aerial domination and a few well-taken chances, the home team did just that, taking their points total to seven and earning sole possession of the group lead.
After a slow first 20 minutes, newcomer Giles Barnes showed some of his EPL skill, unleashing a left-footed stunner in the 21st minute to wake the match up. After taking a layoff from Cam Weaver, the 24-year-old Englishman took full advantage of some lax defending from FAS, teed up his shot and blasted his strike into the upper 90, though it looked to have taken a deflection off Brian Ching before going in.
Ricardo Ulloa and Kofi Sarkodie traded chances in the 31st and 40th minute respectively before FAS’s inability to apply pressure did the visitors in again.
After Je-Vaughn Watson drew a tough free kick at the edge of the box, Colin Clark sent a well placed ball to the top of the six-yard box. With no FAS defender near, defender Bobby Boswell rose up and snapped a header back across goal to give the Dynamo a 2-0 first half lead.
Weaver then got Houston on the board just four minutes into the second half as, taking full advantage of FAS's continued defensive struggles.
On another well-hit Clark cross that found him at the back post, Weaver initially attempted to head the ball down to a waiting Brian Ching. FAS’s Elder Figueroa stepped in front of the captain and gifted Weaver a chance and the 6-foot-4 forward took full advantage, hitting a hard shot across goalkeeper Daniel Arroyo to make it 3-0.
Houston controlled the balance of the match, rarely letting the visitors string more than three passes together.
The night was nearly punctuated by an Adam Moffat special, but his 20-yard rocket flew a foot over the crossbar in the 65th minute. Unfortunately for Moffat, Thursday’s action will be his last in CCL group play as a 73rd minute dust up with Figueroa and the FAS bench earned the midfielder a caution, ruling him out of Houston’s decisive Group 3 match versus Olimpia due to yellow card accumulation October 23.
Second half sub Calen Carr eventually made it four on the night in the 79th minute with cheeky goal to seal the scoring. After a sublime ball in from Sarkodie found Weaver – who notched two assists and a goal on the night – the big man laid the ball off to Carr who deked the ‘keeper and scored a right-footed chip to cap off the scoring.
The 4-0 win means that match the Oct. 23 match at BBVA Compass Stadium against Olimpia – who travel to face FAS on Sept. 27 – will decide who advances to March's quarterfinals. FAS, meanwhile, saw their CCL hopes ended by the loss.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Cam Weaver||An aerial threat all game long, set up two goals and lashed home one of his own|
|2||Colin Clark||Provided consistent, dangerous service all game long, picked up an assist and played a crucial role in Weaver's goal|
|3||Bobby Boswell||Comfortable in defense and rose highest to head home Houston's second goal of the night|