Just a day ahead of the Dynamo's Champions League match with Santos Laguna, head coach Dominic Kinnear talked about the gap between the MLS and teams south of the border.
“There has always been a gap in depth but I think it’s closing over the years. I think MLS teams are getting closer, no more closer than what Salt Lake did a couple of years ago. I think we all believe that something good can happen,” said Kinnear.
On Tuesday night, Brad Davis' left-footed boot into the lower far corner of the net in the 89' left little doubt that at least for one game the gap had been closed completely. Davis. a second half sub, sent the Dynamo faithful into a frenzy and made a winner of goalkeepers coach Tim Hanley who filled in for Kinnear.
Unlike Saturday's opener, the Dynamo opened the game in a 4-3-3 displaying their versatility, their explosiveness and their defense before a crowd of 17,454. From the opening minute the Dynamo put pressure on every ball, Santos Laguna coach Pedro Caixinha played off the loss.
"It is just one game," Caixinha said. "I don’t want to talk about the return leg, but I believe Houston is going to have a bad time, very bad.”
In Torreon the next leg of the two game series, Santos Laguna has been devastating on MLS teams outscoring them 12-3 last season in two contests.
Coach Hanley reaped praise upon Kinnear who he said picked the players, set the lineup and prepared the game plan for the Dynamo.
Both teams had plenty of opportnities before the Dynamo broke though in the closing minutes. The Houston defense bent but never broke as Bobby Boswell, Kofie Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor and Corey Ashe who delivered the game winning to Davis held the vaunted Santos Laguna team in check. Goalkeeper Tally Hall displayed the talent that earned him a berth with the national team earlier this year turning back one attak after another.
The Dynamo rest up and prepare for a return match in Torreon, Mexico with Santos Laguna on March 13 (7PM CT, Fox Soccer).