Following last week's 2-1 road loss in Orlando, Houston Dynamo FC head coach Paulo Nagamura lamented his team not playing with a sense of urgency from the opening whistle through the full 90 minutes plus of play. There were no such lamentations following a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday night at PNC Stadium.
“It was a commanding victory," exuded Nagamura. "Overall, a good performance for both halves. The first half, we were more dangerous in the final third. Second half, we managed the game a little bit more, but I’m pleased with the performance overall—created a lot of chances could have scored a couple of more but very pleased with the way the team responded after last week’s game.”
Rookie forward Thor Ulfarrson gave Houston the lead on the third try off the foot of midfielder Memo Rodriguez. The homegrown midfielder had deliver two previous services that the Dynamo had failed to convert. This one found the native Icelander in the box and he banged it home for the early lead in the 24th minute.
In the opening minute of first half stoppage time, Sebas forced a spectacular one handed parry from Chicago keeper Gabriel Slonina. Moments later, Darwin Quintero would not be stopped from the six yard box. His no doubter buried in the upper 90 gave Houston a 2-0 halftime locker room lead.
Houston continued to push the tempo in the second half but came up empty. In the defensive third, El Naranja was able to knock aside every Chicago attack. Houston was never really challenged and never left a doubt as to whom the better team was on this night.
Houston gets a mid-week match on the road where the urgency in Portland will be sorely needed. Kick-off is set for 9:30pm CT.