HOUSTON -- A Lovel Palmer goal and a Tally Hall shutout proved enough for the Houston Dynamos as they defeated Miami FC 1-0 in the third round of the US Open Tuesday night at Robertson Stadium.
With the US Open Cup match on a Tuesday night between a Saturday and Thursday MLS match, Houston took full advantage of its entire roster playing an experimental five-man midfield with Luis Angel Landin at attacking midfielder, along with Sammy Appiah, Francisco Navas Cobo, Richard Mulrooney and Adrian Serioux.
The Landín midfield experiment got off to a fast start in the 6th minute, when the Mexican forward started an attack that ended with Cam Weaver forcing Miami FC keeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell into a diving save. Despite its early success, however, the experiment was forced to end in the 39th minute when Landín left the game after suffering an apparent knee injury and was replaced by Mike Chabala.
Miami FC had more of the play in the first half and could have taken an early lead. Brazilian Paulo Araujo, Jr. had two chances, one in the 9th minute and another in the 32nd, but Hall kept his team in the match.
At the half, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear replaced Ryan Cochrane with Palmer, moving the substitute into the attacking midfield position and sending Chabala back to defense.
Houston came out looking to take the game to Miami and Dominic Oduro drew a penalty kick to open the complementary period. Patterson-Sewell made a terrific diving save on Mulrooney’s shot from the spot to keep the score tied 0-0.
Miami’s best chance in the second half came in the 56th minute. A Patterson-Sewell goalkick bounced near the Dynamo box and Christian Gomez shot the ball as Hall was came off his line, but Houston’s netminder managed to make a fantastic save despite being out of position to keep the score level 0-0.
Nonetheless, the Dynamo remained the more dangerous team in the half and created several chances. In the 59th minute, Oduro fired his effort from the top of the box just wide of goal.Two minutes later, Appiah was on the receiving end of a give-and-go with Cam Weaver, but Appiah’s shot on goal was saved well by Patterson-Sewell.
In the 80th minute, Houston got the breakthrough that their improved second half play deserved. Oduro laid off a perfect pass into the path of Palmer, who made a great run from midfield. Palmer controlled the ball and slotted it underneath Patterson-Sewell to score the eventual winner in Houston’s 1-0 victory.
Miami wasted no time trying to respond as former Dynamo forward Abe Thompson nearly equalized mere seconds later. However, his effort was saved well by Hall to preserve the clean sheet.
With the victory, Houston move on to play the winner of the Austin Aztex and Chivas USA match.
But before that, the Dynamo next travel Thursday night to play Toronto FC in league play.
HOU -- Lovel Palmer (Dominic Oduro) 81
Miami FC -- Caleb Patterson-Sewell, Euzebio Neto, JP Rodrigues, Kyle Veris, Zach Kirby, Edward Santeliz (Brian Shriver 76), Christian Gomez, Cristiano Dias (Steven Jair Cabas 84), Bryan Arguez (Sean Cameron 79), Abe Thompson, Paulo Araujo, Jr.
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Ryan Cochrane (Lovel Palmer 46), Eddie Robinson, Craig Waibel, Francisco Navas Cobo, Luis Landin (Mike Chabala 43), Richard Mulrooney (Danny Cruz 76), Adrian Serioux, Sammy Appiah, Dominic Oduro, Cam Weaver.