Houston Dynamo FC stay alive in Leagues Cup after third PK shootout!

Houston Dynamo FC stay alive in Leagues Cup after third PK shootout!
Team waiting for Thor's penalty kick

Written by David Garcia

A familiar face in the early years of the Dynamo returned to Houston after 13 years. The Houston Dynamo defeated Pachuca 5-3 via penalties in the round of 32 of the Leagues Cup.

The match was tight in the initial instances with both teams counter attacking but not getting any clear scoring chances. In the 22nd minute, Erick Sanchez tried a shot outside the box that goalkeeper Steve Clark mishandled, but fortunately it skimmed off the post and led to a corner. Off of the corner, a header pass fell to Lucas Di Yorio near the keepers box but he was unable to place it right. The Dynamo's biggest chance in the first half came in the 42nd minute when Coco’s through ball went through the defense and into Bassi’s feet, but his shot was saved by Carlos Moreno. The match entered half time tied at zero and at the half, Nelson Quiñones came on for Ibrahim Aliyu.

Two minutes into the half, David Terans attempted a cross that turned into a dangerous shot that forced Clark to make an unbalanced save. Amine Bassi would strike the ball just wide in the 65th minute off a Griffin Dorsey pass. 7 minutes later, Hector Herrera tries to rip the net with his free kick attempt, but his shot just goes over the bar leaving the crowd in awe. Pachuca would have a couple more long shots that went over the bar but after 90 minutes the score was tied.

During the penalty shootout, both teams made their first three penalties giving us yet another thriller of a shootout. That would all change on Pachuca's fourth attempt as Clark stayed low and saved the penalty. Luis Caicedo stepped up to take the potential winning penalty and his strong positioned penalty won the shootout for the Dynamo.

Image shot by Jorge Sapon/DFTV
The hero of the night, Luis Caicedo!

We asked Ben Olsen about the Pachuca high press with their forwards. He stated that his offensive structure was not what it needed to be in order for it to be effective against their press, and that Pachuca had more energy but it was expected due to their lack of games played. Along with that, he mentioned that as the game progressed, the team got better and made better decisions. He praised the team stating that the team is working their tails off and it is impressive to earn a clean sheet against a quality team. We also asked about the importance of playing another home match in the cup. Ben stated that the team is very excited to show the fans another game at home and that hopefully the fans come out.

The Men in Orange will now face the winner of the Charlotte vs Cruz Azul matchup in the round of 16 on Monday, August 7, 2023 at Shell Energy Stadium.