Houston Dynamo looked to trick Montreal Impact with a new formation. Instead, the Canadians shut Houston out 1-0 with a trick formation of their own.
The loss revived Houston’s road curse, yet the game represented solid Dynamo play.
Although several key starters didn’t hit the pitch until the second half, by the time the Dynamo got the talent plugged into the game, the Impact had the lead and worked to keep it. They plugged up their defensive area and saw out the match in a relatively comfortable fashion.
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Alberth Elis got off Houston’s only shot on goal, a 57th-minute right-footer from an Arturo Alvarez pass. Impact’s Evan Bush saved with average effort, though. The Dynamo’s other five shots missed the target altogether. Houston couldn’t place the shots they needed when they got near the goal. The Impact, meanwhile, only spent seven shots – three on goal – to win the game.
Houston Dynamo may have doubled up Montreal Impact 26-13 in tackles won and bested the home team 59-55 in duels won, but the Impact’s 85% passing accuracy and 55.7% possession throughout the game was ultimately enough to finish visiting Houston off.
Now that national team call-ups have descended on the Dynamo, some players rise from the depth charts to state their case to start.
Adam Lundqvist made his second start count. He got in four dribbles and a tackle with 80% passing accuracy. Eric Bird showed the team some good things in his first start. He played 90 minutes. During the match, he got in three tackles and won an aerial. He finished with 81% passing accuracy. This is in large part the reason for the system change — Wilmer Cabrera, with more limited resources, wanted to keep his squad fresh and his team alive.
Unfortunately for Cabrera, though, it was Garde and the Impact that were able to win the battle of the tricking formation. With two new formations on the field, it was Montreal who made theirs count. They got a win they and their supporters had hungered for, while the Dynamo will be hoping that the change reaps the rewards it was intended to in future contests.