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Houston Dynamo advance to fifth round

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Houston Dynamo have managed to win in the fourth round for the second straight year as they managed a tight 1-0 win over Laredo Heat at BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday night.

The match was surprisingly spiteful with a red card to each side, with Laredo looking to bring up the physicality of the match, while Houston found their goal in the first half.

The result will keep Houston at home for the fifth round as they will welcome FC Dallas or San Antonio Scorpions for a place in the quarter-finals, making it Texas’ best performance in a US Open Cup in the MLS era.

The possession was all with Dynamo in the early going but with as many reserves as Houston could manage Houston struggled to do anything with the ball despite their constant attack.

11 minutes in to the match Houston had their first chance as Alex Lopez crossed in for Omar Cummings who was able to get a header away which he sent wide of the goal.

After 12 more minutes of Houston having the ball as Giles Barnes received the ball from Will Bruin, allowing him to hit a one time shot which went just wide.

Credit must go to Laredo’s defense, as the Heat got their tactics right, packing the defense with five across the back which made life incredibly difficult for Houston but in the end the pressure was always going to tell.

In the 38th minute Houston finally got their goal as Cummings was able to find a rushing Lopez who was able to run on to the ball and catch Jorge Ortega out of position, chipping the keeper for his first ever Dynamo goal.

Right before half-time Laredo’s chances took a heavy hit after the ongoing battle between Matthiew Braem and Barnes crossed a line as Braem was shown a second yellow card after pushing things too much, leaving Laredo down a man as Houston were up 1-0 at the break.

But that disadvantage quickly faded as an error from Tyler Deric saw him shown a straight red card as he ran out and handled the ball outside the area.

That forced Dominic Kinnear to go bring on Tally Hall, and he took off Cummings up front to bring on the goalkeeper leaving Houston with just a lone striker, Will Bruin, up front and effectively killing the match as an attacking contest.

Houston seemed content to hold their 1-0 lead and let Laredo attack but the chances were rare with only one clear chance coming to Laredo in the 85th minute.

Felix Garcia, who was let go by Houston, nearly had a chance to make them regret it as he made a run at hall but shot over the bar, letting Houston through to the fifth round.

Houston Dynamo will have to scramble for a goalkeeper in the fifth round with Deric suspended and their other goalkeeper, Michael Lisch, cup tied, the Dynamo may need to loan a reserve keeper or play an outfield reserve in that position.

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