Houston, TX, USA: The Houston Dynamo playing with ten men for much of the game, were unable to overcome the effect of a red card on Jalil Anibaba in a 0-2 loss to the Seattle Sounders in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs – Western Conference Championship Leg 1 – at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Tuesday (Nov 21) night.
The Dynamo created the first dangerous chance of the night within the first minute when forward Mauro Manotas earned a corner kick and the ensuing corner was headed just over the crossbar by forward Alberth Elis.
But Seatle Sounders scored first in the 11th minute through Gustav Svensson. In the 11th minute, the Sounders picked up an early goal off a corner kick, as Gustav Svensson redirected a header past Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis. The goal changed the complexion of the game to that point, until the next big moment.
Jalil Anibaba pulled Joevin Jones down in the 28 minute and as it appeared to be denial of a goal-scoring opportunity, Anibaba was given a red card. Suddenly, Houston found itself down a goal and down a man. Nicolas Lodeiro missed the subsequent penalty kick but Will Bruin picked Lodeiro up later. The red card to Jalil Anibaba changed the game.
Former Dynamo Will Bruin scored a massive goal against his former club – in the 42nd minute – on a great cross from Jones on the left wing. While the tie isn’t over, the Sounders are in firm control and look set to repeat as Western Conference playoffs champions.
Elis forced a save from Tyler Miller in the 73rd minute with a shot to the near post that was handled inside the six yard box.
Seattle generated the final scoring opportunity of the game as second-half substitute Victor Rodriguez’ strike bounced off the crossbar past a lunging Willis.
Houston will travel to the Pacific Northwest for the return leg with the Sounders on Thursday, Nov. 30 needing a two-goal victory to advance to the MLS Cup Final for the fifth time in club history.
Houston Dynamo (13-10-11; 2-1-1) 0-2 Seattle Sounders FC (14-9-11; 2-0-1)
Attendance: 22,661. Man of the Match: Joevin Jones