HOUSTON -- The Houston Dynamo could not sustain a
blazing start against Monarcas Morelia.
Despite scoring just 10 seconds into the contest, the Dynamo had
to settle for a 1-1 tie with Morelia in its SuperLiga matchup.
The result leaves Houston (1-0-1) and fellow MLS team D.C.
United tied atop group B with four points apiece. The squads
meet Wednesday night in Houston, and a victory by either team
will wrap up the group title.
"This was a very good game played by both teams," Morelia coach
Jose Luis Trejo said. "Both teams has many opportunities and in
the end, it was an even score. It was just a really good game
(and) result for everybody. The Dynamo played a very good game.
They play at a very high level and they have done really good
in the tournament here."
It did not take defending MLS champion Houston long to strike
against its Mexican counterpart.
Off the opening kick, the Dynamo scored when Joseph Ngwenya took
a crossing pass from Brian Ching and drew Morelia keeper Moises
Munoz out of position. Ngwenya beat Munoz to the near corner
of the net just 10 seconds into the match.
In the sixth minute, the Dynamo nearly doubled the lead when
Stuart Holden took a pass from Ching, but this time Munoz was
there to make the stop.
Ching made a nifty move to get free before finding Holden, who
was waiting just inside the top of the box. Holden tried to
kick the ball across his body and send his shot into Munoz's
In the 15th minute, Morelia nearly tied the game on a free kick
from 22 yards out. Fernando Arce sent a bending kick toward the
near post, but Houston keeper Zach Wells - normally a backup
behind Pat Onstad - made the save to preserve the lead.
The Dynamo continue to pressure Munoz, with Ching and Ngwenya
hooking up in the 24th minute for another shot on goal.
In the near corner, Ngwenya sent a perfect cross to the net and
Ching, seemingly out of nowhere, sent a header toward the goal.
Munoz got just enough to send the ball out of bounds, setting up
a fruitless corner kick.
Richard Mulrooney nearly made it 2-0 in the 68th minute when he
sent a hard shot from about 40 yards out after settling a
deflected pass by the opposition. The shot, uncontested by
Morelia, sailed just three feet over the crossbar.
The missed chances came back to haunt the Dynamo when Morelia
tied the game in the 74th minute.
Marcio Batista took advantage of a miscue by Wells, who
misplayed a bouncing pass. The ball came down to Batista and he
fired a shot into the net for a 1-1 tie.
"It was just a miscommunication between myself and about four of
my teammates," Wells said. "I got the ball about a
split-second before and the defense came right through it. It
came out of my hands and went the wrong way, obviously. We had
the right people in place to defend it, but somehow they got it
Munoz finished with five saves while Wells had two.