HOUSTON - For the second time this season, FC Dallas left Houston frustrated by a squandered lead on the road and a 1-1 draw.
Michael Barrios neared another heroic road performance with his 83rd minute tally to put Dallas up 1-0 in Leg Two of the Texas Derby, but just minutes later, it was the Ronaldo Peña with the home heroics to secure a point.
“We had three points and we need to do better at closing games out. This has happened a few times this year, we just kind of switch off as a team and It’s not helping us,” captain Matt Hedges said. “We just turned off. That’s all you can really say about it. Nobody was really pressuring anybody and he turned and got a quick shot.”
“That’s the pain that we walk out from the locker room [with],” head coach Oscar Pareja remarked about Houston capitalizing on their one real chance of the night. “I think [our defense] controlled their speed, they controlled them all over the field - not just with the ball but without it. I have to remark about the job and excellent behaviors that we had defensively. We end up just giving up one ball, but the game is cruel sometimes and we have to accept it.”
Just a month ago, it was a similar situation as the sides traded goals in the opening 10 minutes as opposed to the last 10 - Dallas first, Houston answering. The Leg Two result marked the fifth straight time that the two sides have played to a stalemate - and setting up a decisive Leg Three in just 10 days’ time where El Capitán is up for grabs to the victor.
“We know that it’s a Derby against them and we don’t care about the standings, we always want to win these games,” Victor Ulloa said of the recent run. “I think we’ve shown that both teams leave everything on the field. The past few have been ties and I think it sets up a great game at our house September 1.”