COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Kansas City forward C.J. Sapong’s goal in the third minute of stoppage time put a damper on an otherwise good defensive performance for the Houston Dynamo in their 1-0 US Open Cup loss on Wednesday night.
“Say what you will, but for 90 minutes, I thought we played very well,” said veteran Eddie Robinson, who saw his first action of the year, putting in 86 minutes at defense. “We didn’t give up much, but we weren’t creating much.”
The Dynamo defense showed well throughout the night, stifling a dangerous Sporting Kansas City attack that included Teal Bunbury, Kei Kamara and 45 minutes of Designated Player Omar Bravo.
[inline_node:333137]Seldom-used backup 'keeper Tyler Deric, who picked up right where starter Tally Hall left off last week, put up a modest number in the saves department, but he provided a crucial safety net for the Houston defense.
“Our goalkeepers have been really good for us lately,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “He made a couple of good saves in the first half. I kept whispering in Tim’s [Hanley, Dynamo goalkeeper coaches] ear that I like Tyler a lot.”
Although Houston’s back line was solid, their attack couldn’t generate much offense. While the team created a number of chances, between Sporting goalkeeper Eric Kronberg’s strong play and some missed opportunities, Houston were never able to crack the Sporting defense.
“When we got to the final third, I thought we were a little rushed with our crosses and decision,” said Kinnear. “We had our chances and, unfortunately, we were a little off.”
Despite a sound performance, the Dynamo leave College Station upset to have conceded the late winner in a match they felt was well within their reach.
Houston now turn their attention to Sunday’s MLS contest against the Vancouver Whitecaps (7 pm ET, Galavisión). While fitness could be a factor, for the Dynamo, the quick turnaround is the best medicine for a defense whose single breakdown once again cost them the match.
“It’s a quick turnaround for us, which is good," said Robinson, "because when you lose a game like this, you want to get back on the field and get things right and get going in the right direction."
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.