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Dynamo's depth superior, Olsen fumes
by Paul Kennedy, November 11th, 2012 11:49PM

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TAGS:  d.c. united, mls, seattle sounders

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[MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: Houston-D.C. United] The Houston Dynamo took a huge step toward defending its Eastern Conference crown, scoring three unanswered goals from Andre Hainault, Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie in the second half to secure a 3-1 win over D.C. United in the first leg of the Eastern Conference final before a a BBVA Compass Stadium record crowd of 22,101.

Houston's superior depth was the difference as reserves played key roles on all three goals, while D.C. United, already shorthanded, lost two starters in the first half with injuries.

But a non-call at the end of the first half that could have given D.C. a man advantage changed the game and was its focus in the postgame discussion.

-- Already without injured star Dwayne De Rosario and goalie Bill Hamid and Andy Najar, both suspended, D.C. United lost Chris Pontius in the 12th minute and Marcelo Saragosa in the 40th minute with injuries. Raphael Augusto, who had not played a game since arriving on loan from Fluminense in July, was brought on for Saragosa. Early in the second half, Argentine Emiliano Dudar, who hadn’t played in more than two months, had to come on in place of center back Brandon McDonald.

-- United, which has never won in nine games in Houston, took a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute when Lionard Pajoy rifled a shot off the far post, and rookie Nick DeLeon put the rebound away.

-- D.C. United screamed for a red card in stoppage time when Hainault took down Raphael Augusto outside the Dynamo penalty area. Not only did referee Ricardo Salazar not show a red card, he didn't not even call a foul.

-- D.C. United assistant Pat Onstad was ejected for arguing the call, and D.C. head coach Ben Olsen confronted Salazar after game. “What do you want me to say? What can I say about it?” Olsen said. “Everybody in the stadium, everybody on our bench, everybody on their bench, everybody at home saw that it’s a red card. It’s a takedown. It’s a red card. I don’t know what to say about it. It’s very, very frustrating.”

-- Houston evened the score in the 51st minute when Hainault scored from close range after a short free kick was played by Brad Davis to Oscar Boniek Garcia, whose pass found the Canadian free at the far post. Hainault was inserted in the starting lineup after Jermaine Taylor was injured in the series with Sporting Kansas City.

-- Giles Barnes, who entered the game for the injured Angus Moffat in the first half, set up the second goal with a strong run in from the left wing and fed Bruin for the go-ahead goal, the Indiana product's fourth in four playoff games.

-- On the third Dynamo goal, Raphael Augusto failed to shut down Luiz Camargo, who was playing in place of Ricardo Clark, and Luiz Camargo fed Sarkodie, who blasted a shot from a tight angle past Joe Willis.

-- The win extended Houston’s home unbeaten streak to 30 games in all competitions, dating to June 18, 2011. The Dynamo are now 8-1-0 all-time in home playoff games, outscoring opponents 18-6.

Second leg: Sunday, Nov. 18, 4 p.m. ET in Washington, D.C.

Nov. 11 in Houston
Houston 3 D.C. United 0. Goals: Hainault (Garcia, Davis) 51, Bruin 68, Sarkodie (Luiz Camargo) 81; DeLeon 27.
Houston -- Hall; Sarkodie, Hainault, Boswell, Ashe; Moffat (Barnes 25), Luiz Camargo, Davis (Creavalle 88); Garcia, Bruin (Ching 88), Kandji.
D.C. United -- Willis; Russell, McDonald (Dudar 56), Jakovic, Korb; DeLeon, Kitchen, Saragosa (Augusto 40), Pontius (Neal 12), Boskovic, Pajoy.
Referee: Ricardo Salazar.
Att.: 22,101.



6 comments
  1. Kerry Solomon
    commented on: November 12, 2012 at 8:11 a.m.
    Ben: I agree with you but, as you know, not everything is called so you shrug it off and continue playing hard. Arguing will not change the result but it may open the eyes of the referees for the next time but it is highly unlikely that you'll get the same referees for the next game. Go get them on the return leg!!!
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: November 12, 2012 at 10:11 a.m.
    If ref Salazar was not sure, he should have immediately consulted his AR who probably had the best view and in essence had no stomach to question the man in the middle...bottom line is that the defender came from the rear and had to go through the attacker to reach the ball.
  1. soccer talk
    commented on: November 12, 2012 at 12:17 p.m.
    Tough none call. Definitely a foul, and for sure a yellow, but not a red card to effect the game. DC player did not have control of ball after last touch and Hannault got inside of him forcing him to extend arm to seperate himself. Then this creates the pull down foul, but he did not have control of the ball for 100% goal scoring red card call. Ref could have called it the other way as well, but take the call and don't send off a player to effect the game w/out clear reason.
  1. Steven McDonald
    commented on: November 12, 2012 at 12:59 p.m.
    Not a fan of either team, but can't see calling a pull down red card foul on a guy that was knocked down. Hate to admit that the ref made right decision. As soccer talk states it could have been called against DC. Have to agree. Originally was going to root for DC in this series but the actions of the players and their coach persuaded me otherwise. Either Olson has lost control or he is the problem.Very unprofessional attitude exhibited by his side the last three matches.
  1. Doug Broadie
    commented on: November 12, 2012 at 2:01 p.m.
    Welcome to the "Wonderful World of Salazar".
  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: November 12, 2012 at 9:47 p.m.
    Players win game, coaches lose em, refs ruin em. Only call penalties when you see it, and 95% sure. Only call red cards when you see it, and 95% sure. Penalties and red cards ruin games. Let em play, in the end it all evens out.

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