Dallas dominated in the early part of the first half, and after getting the lion's share of the possession and shots, scored the opener inside of 20 minutes. Franco Jara slid onto a headed pass across the box from Michael Barrios, poking it in. Eight minutes later, in the 27th, Andres Ricaurte sent in a sumptuous diagonal pass to the far post, which Fafa Picault headed in to double the lead.
Houston, with their season on the line, made a late first-half sub, bringing on Memo Rodriguez for Niko Hansen in an attempt to spark the offense. The Dynamo did get some early flashes from Ariel Lassiter and Darwin Quintero, but not enough to match their rivals.
Houston went for a double sub in the 62nd minute, going with two experienced players who know the Dynamo system in Tomas Martinez and Mauro Manotas to try to close the gap. Both Jara and Ricaurte had chances to extend FCD's lead to 3-0, with Jara pushing a shot wide on a 51st-minute breakaway, and Ricaurte sending a close-range chip over the bar. Ricaurte kept shooting, getting close on some long-range efforts, but it was Picault who put an exclamation point on the latest edition of the Texas Derby with a stoppage-time goal.
- 19' – DAL – Franco Jara | WATCH
- 27' – DAL – Fafa Picault | WATCH
- 90' + 3' – DAL – Fafa Picault | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: FC Dallas looked the part of a playoff team — and one who could possibly go deep in an unpredictable West — with the win on Saturday. It is still just the team's second win in eight matches, although the team's been trending more positively in recent matches. Houston, by contrast, did not and it looks like head coach Tab Ramos will have plenty of offseason work for a team that has only won one of its last 13 matches.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The connection on the second goal was a beautiful soccer moment, and the Dynamo ultimately didn't have an answer for it.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Though Picault's two goals shone on the scoresheet, Ricaurte was largely the architect on the Picault goal that made it 2-0, and pushed forward throughout the match, finishing with four of FCD's 14 shots.