Another enthralling contest with Pachuca meant another
bitter defeat for the Houston Dynamo.
Pachuca prevailed on penalty kicks, 4-3, in a SuperLiga semifinal Tuesday after the teams toughed out a 2-2 tie in 120 minutes of regulation and
overtime, most of which Houston played a man down following the ejection of defender Patrick Ianni
in the 12th minute.
With the teams knotted on
penalties, 3-3, Joseph Ngwenya
's weak chip on Houston's fifth attempt bounced off the chest of Pachuca keeper Miguel
and Rafael Marquez Lugo
nailed his shot high past Dynamo keeper Pat Onstad
. Brian Ching
had hit the post with Houston's fourth kick, but Onstad saved a low shot by Damian Alvarez
to keep the teams tied.
took an early 1-0 lead on a bizarre goal by Dwayne DeRosario
, whose first-time shot from a low Brian Mullan
to bounce off his arm and deflect into the net. Ianni got his red card for pulling back Christian Gimenez
just outside the penalty area, and Pachuca equalized in
the 28th minute when Juan Carlos Cacho
touched home a driven ball from Carlos Rodriguez
Pachuca took the
lead in the 61st minute. Substitute Andreas Chitiva
latched onto a weak Ngwenya header and fired low inside Onstad's near post. Yet with seven minutes left,
Chitiva offered Houston a lifeline with a clumsy midfield foul that earned him a caution. Richard Mulrooney
's driven free kick found the head of defender
, and he tied the game yet again.
Two minutes later, Chitiva dribbled along the edge of the penalty area and flew to the ground under
a challenge. Referee Roberto Moreno
adjudged him to have taken a dive and the second caution sent him off as well.
The teams played 10 against 10
through regulation and most of the first overtime before more incident ensued. Dynamo sub Corey Ashe
came up swinging after a hard tackle by Jamie Correa
as he was apparently helping Ashe to his feet. Moreno cautioned Correa for the tackle and dismissed Ashe for the elbow. So again Houston was a man
Calero saved a low shot from Houston's final sub, Chris Wondolowski
, in the second overtime. The final whistle assured another dramatic
finish between the teams; during the CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinals in March, Pachuca won an incredible second leg, 5-2, at home in overtime to earn a 5-4 aggregate win.
six shooters converted before Ching's miss and Calero's easy save sent Pachuca into the first SuperLiga final at the expense of the defending MLS champion.