North Texas was unable to end their recent woes, as a 2-1 defeat to a struggling Houston Dynamo 2 team decreased their chances of seeing the playoffs. NTX is now 1-4-6 over their last 10 games.
Wingers were emphasized in the starting XI, and club captain Andre Costa returned to the started lineup. Hope Avayevu started his second consecutive game after missing a month with a lower-body injury.
The first real action of the game came after 18 minutes, as Diego Garcia came close after being slipped in behind the Dynamo 2 defense, but had it narrowly knocked away from him before his shot.
With just under 5 minutes till halftime, Antonio Carrera denies an opener from Houston with a fantastic leap to his left.
Both sides went into the half scoreless and with barely anything to show for either side. North Texas once again failed to score a first-half goal.
Houston broke the deadlock 10 minutes after the resumption of play, after a great move to beat Yeicar Perlaza and a quick shot fired into the far side netting.
Coach Javier Cano made some changes following the concession of the goal, as Pablo Torre and Nayrobi Vargas entered the match in search of an equalizer.
Super Sub Torre got it done! After a beautiful feed from Hope Avayevu, a wide-open Pablo Torre slotted home the equalizer.
Just under two minutes after the equalizer, Houston scored to go up 2-1 on the night.
With just over 5 minutes to play, Carrera left his line well to shut down a Houston opportunity in close.
A Houston 2 attacker earned a second yellow after coming on as a sub to give North Texas a man advantage with 2 minutes of regular time yet to play. A set play right after the sending-off led to a great curling opportunity from Hope but just wide.
Just over a minute into the 5 minutes of stoppage time, Pablo Torre came close to his brace after a Tyshawn Rose cross found him dead center in the box. But his on-target effort was denied by a sliding defender.
A minute later another close-in effort was denied by another sliding defender. A great push by North Texas in the dying minutes came up short, as the away side left Houston without a point.
Quotes and Takeaways
Houston was winless in 3 prior to this match, and to come away with no points makes playoffs nearly out of reach for North Texas.
A disappointed Coach Cano remarked after the game, “The only way to playoffs is getting points. It is disappointing the way we lost.”
“We need to defend better. That is it.”
“The game plan was very clear. There were very clear spaces we wanted to attack into and every time we attack into the spaces the ball was there and we had the opportunity. It is disappointing when the decision-making was bad and we talked to the players about that.”
Pablo Torre notched his second goal of the season for NTSC, with Cano being encouraged by his play, saying “Pablo came from the bench with his energy. He brought this energy and we needed it.”
After the match, Torre remarked that he was very happy to have scored but disappointed when the team conceded seconds after, “When we score a goal we need to be more hungry to score more. We scored one and they came right back.”
North Texas’ search for a much-needed 3 points will continue as the team to Choctaw Stadium to take on Sporting Kansas City II on Saturday, July 22nd.