HOUSTON – The Texas Derby was no contest Friday night as FC Dallas was quick and efficient on their way to a 4-1 win over the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Dallas exploited any space the Dynamo would give them, conceding possession for large stretches and relying on their speed and counterattack to be the difference. Houston struggled to close the gaps and Dallas took advantage early and often and was efficient scoring four goals off six shots. Teammates Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo had a goal and two assists each on the night.
The visitors struck first, utilizing some suspect spacing by the Dynamo which had collapsed to its left side. Dallas pushed their attack up the left side of Houston’s defense and with Dynamo defender Kofi Sarkodie tracking Castillo across the field, Dallas midfielder Ryan Hollingshead cut across unimpeded and fired from 19-yards out for the ninth minute 1-0 lead.
The visitors doubled up their lead 12 minutes later, turning an Alex Lopez turnover into three touches for a score. Diaz pushed the ball up field after the turnover, releasing Castillo down the right flank. The speedy Colombian pushed into the penalty box, cut the ball back between two defenders to the waiting feet of David Texeira who hit a first-touch shot to the far post to make it 2-0.
Houston, dominating possession early, bounced back in the 32nd minute with a "bend-it-like-Barnes" goal. After Lopez earned a free kick 22-yards away from goal, Giles Barnes took a short run up and hit an inside-the-foot free kick which curled into the upper corner. The leaping Dallas goalkeeper, Dan Kennedy could only manage to deflect the ball into the side netting to pull the score to 2-1.
Despite their control of the ball Houston’s defense never synced up and Dallas didn’t miss their chances. Seven minutes after the restart, Diaz cut through Houston’s defense, dribbling past Jermaine Taylor before stinging a shot from the top of the box into the back of the net.
Three minutes later the visitors continued to show their danger on quick combinations, moving the ball up the field with four passes for a fourth goal in the 55th minute. Castillo was the last player with the ball and after sizing up DaMarcus Beasley, toe-poked his shot just inside the far right post to make it 4-1.
The defensive breakdowns for Houston marked the second week in a row the club’s given up four goals at home. It is the first time the Dynamo have given up four goals in back-to-back games. Dallas take the upper hand in the annual Texas Derby, although there are still two more meetings between the sides scheduled for the MLS regular season.
Houston is back in action Tuesday when they welcome back former head coach Dominic Kinnear and the San Jose Earthquakes. Dallas’ next game will be at home versus the LA Galaxy on May 9.