Superliga 2007 Live Blog: Houston Dynamo vs. CF Pachuca
Posted by Mike on August 14, 2007
Tonight is the first semifinal of the inaugural Superliga. If you’re not familiar with Superliga, it s a new competition between the top club teams in Mexican Primera Division and in American Major League Soccer. It began with eight teams (four from each league) and is now down to four. Pachuca is the only Mexican team left. For Houston, this isn’t just for a trip to final and the chance at a $1 million prize; it’s for MLS bragging rights. And considering that absolutely no major American media outlets are covering it, those bragging rights must really matter to you.
This game will be broadcast on Telefutura, which I don’t mind one bit. I’ll take Pablo Ramirez over Eric Wynalda every time.
10:11 pm, 5th minute: GOOOOLLLLLLLLL! Wade Barrett of Houston makes a great run on the right side of the field, makes a great pass to Dwaynede Rosario in the box, and hekicks the ball into his head. Unbelievably, the ball ricochets off is face and into the net! Houston leads, 1-0, and De Rosario has one helluva headache.
10:14, 7th minute: “Brian CHING!” We missed you, TeleFutura.
10:17, 10th minute: I love the look that the Pachuca goalie is sporting now. But I don;t think that the ‘do rag and clod stare is scaring off any incoming shots.
10:19, 12th minute: Ooooooh. Houston came thisclose to giving up a penalty kick, as one of their defenders virtually tacked a attacking striker right on the line of the box. Pachuca will have to settle for the shortest free kick in recorded history. For Houston, defender Patrick Ianni is sent off with a red card.
10:22 pm, 15th minute: Good defense by the Dynamo. Even though they gave Pachuca the free kick and a corner kick, they deflected every decent shot and didn’t give any real opportunities.
10:25, 18th minute: One of Pachuca’s players (#2) has a knee injury. It looks like he will stay in the game, but it could affect the team’s plans for the rest of the game, and for the moment they only have 10 guys on the field.
10:27, 20th minute: Tonight is the third time that Houston has faced Pachuca this year. In the CONCACAF Club Championship semifinal in March, they played a home-and-home series. Houston won the first leg 2-0, but Pachuca crushed them the second game, 5-2. For Houston, there could be a slight revenge factor. They definitely have a larger crowd than usual tonight.
10:32, 25th minute: Hooray! We have our first acting job, courtesy of Pachuca’s Aguilar (#16). There was contact on that play, but Aguilar fell like he’d been shot.
10:35 pm, 28th minute: NO! Pachuca finally gets a real scoring opportunity, and they take full advantage. A great pass to the left side, a good pass to the middle, and a very easy tap to get it past Pat Onstad. The game is tied, 1-1.
10:37 pm, 30th minute: There are two things that you won;t find at a baseball game. One is a Mexican masked wrestler. The other is some old white dude in an Arsenal shirt. TeleFutura’s cameras managed to find them both in a span of 30 seconds.
10:40, 33rd minute: A Pachuca striker kicks in the direction of keeper Pat Onstad, looking to hit the ball. He hit a different kind instead. Amazingly, no card is given.
10:45, 38th minute: Jesus Bracamontes: “Ay Speek Eeenglishhhhh.” Sure you do.
This game is starting to get a bit chippy between these teams.
10:47, 40th minute: Waibel is in excellent position to score from the left side, but he misfires…badly. So badly that Pachuca doesn’t even get a goal kick; they need to throw it in from the side.
10:49, 42nd minute: I’m impressed with the Dynamo fans tonight. They’ve filled the seats and been loud the entire half. Is this rteally an MLS game?
10:50, 43rd minute: Ohhh! Waibel misses again,this time from much closer range. Maybe his inability to finish is why he’s a defender and not a striker. That, and he’s 6’2″.
10:54, 45+: De Rosario gives Houston one last good chance before halftime, breaking a tackle and sprinting to the left side of the box. Unfortunately he had no one to pass the ball to and no clear shot. The defense clears it, and we reach halftime. Houston and Pachuca are tied, 1-1. The Dynamo have done s good job on defense, but they need to create more scoring opportunities if they want to win. In the entire first have, they had only two or three good scoring chances, and I haven’t seen Ngwenya, their go-to guy, get the ball in the offensive end. To win, he needs to get more involved in the game.
11:12, 47th minute: Pachuca is attacking right out of the second half gates, with two scoring opportunities in the first two minutes. The last one was very dangerous and very well played. If that final kick was one foot to the left, pachuca would be in the lead. The Dynamo need to do a better job of clearing the ball away.
11:13, 48th minute: There it is again. CHING! That might drive me crazy if I watch too many of these games.
11:16, 50th minute: Joseph Ngwenya gets a good run, but tries to flop near the right corner of the box. The ref isn’t buying it.
11:20, 54th minute: Ching, gets the Pachuca defense on the run, and Joseph Ngewnya creates Houston’s first scoring opportunity of the second half. Unfortunately, he kicks the ball right at the goalie.
11:22, 56th minute: The Pachuca coach has a look resembling the world’s most psychotic golfer.
11:24, 58th minute: The Dynamo really seem to miss their eleventh man. Without him they have a hard time preventing their opponent from getting into the offensive zone consistently. If thaty don;t make some sort of adjustment, Houston could easily lose this game in the next 30 minutes.
I think Jesus Bracamontes jinxed Houston when he talked about the game coming down to penalty kicks way too early.
11:27, 61st minute: GOOOOLLLLLL! An unbelievable gaol by Juan Carlos Cacho, who took an attempted clearing by the Dynamo, turned around at the inside edge of the box, and delivered a spectacular roundhouse kick that rocketed past Onstad. Pachuca leads 2-1. A may have foreshadowed the goal, but even with 11 men, there was no way for the Dynamo to stop that ball.
11:30, 65th minute: ESPN is not alone in over-hyping Beckham’s arrival to MLS. Their first potential Beckham broadcast is tomorrow, and they’ve talked about it at least seven different times tonight.
11:34, 68th minute: Houston still don’t have nearly enough scoring opportunities to toe or win this game. Let’s hope that changes in the next 20 minutes.
11:37, 71st minute: Finally, Houston gets a corner kick, a real scoring opportunity. Once again, Waibel manages to screw it up.
11:39, 74th minute: if you thought the only reason Houston has 25,000+ fans tonight is because of Pachuca fans, the current scene in the stands is telling. Robertson Stadium has fallen fairly silent since Pachuca’s second goal. These are definitely MLS fans.
11:42, 77th minute: Houston is starting to knock on the door. Pachuca is preventing any clear shots, and this particular possession was killed after CHING! was called offside. The worst part is that he need to come back from his offside possession to receive the ball. Ugh.
11:46, 80th minute: Dwayne De Rosario, whose “header” is trhe only reason why Houston’s still in the game, is substituted for Corey Ashe. Dwayne looks absolutely exhausted.
11:48, 82nd minute: GOOOOOLLLLLLLL!!! Dwayne Barret is pulled from behind, and Pachuca gets a yellow card. The ensuing free kick from 35-40 yards away is near perfect, and Eddie Robinson’s header puts it in the net to tie the game at 2-2. The crowd in Robertson Stadium is alive once again.
11:51, 85th minute: A big break for Houston: Juan Carlos Cacho is caught flopping, the receives his second yellow card and the ensuing red card, and he’s sent out of the game. Both teams are now down to ten players.
11:53 pm, 88th minute: Pachuca still seems to be in an attacking mood, but an offside call negates a nice scoring chance. The end of regulation is getting very close.
11;56 pm, 90th minute: I hope that Pachuca can’t score again before extra time. This Dynamo team looks completely out of gas, having a hard time running around the field. Their opponents are definitely a step faster right now.
11:58, 90+: Ngwenya is fouled on the offensive end, setting up a dangerous free kick. The free kick goes harmlessly out of bounds, as Nate Jaqua can’t reach the ball on the right side of the box.
12:00, end of regulation: The game is tied at 2-2, and we’re going to extra time!
12:07, 91st minute: Houston now seems to be the aggressor after getting that second goal. After making another subtitution (Wondolowski for Jaqua), maybe they can keep up with Pachuca’s speed.
12:09, 93rd minute: There it is again. CHING! let’s hope he’s not in the starting lineup for team USA in 2010; I don’t think I’d be able to take it.
12:10, 94th minute: The ref is clearly not a fan of Mexican theatre. A striker fell like a crash test dummy, but didn’t get even get close to a whistle.
12:12, 96th minute: Pachuca very nearly scores on the free kick, but it goes juuuuust wide to the left.
12:14, 98th minute: Fan in the stands: “OMG! So anyway, I was like, at the mall, talking with my friends, and we were about to see Rush HouOH S— I’M ON TV! Hiiiiiiiii! So anyway…”
12:17, 101st minute: How is that not a foul on Pachuca? That guy jut body slammed Corey Ashe out of bounds and into the table at midfield.
I stand corrected. One of the guys on Pachuca who complained went a little too far and received a Yellow card.
As for Ashe, he seems to have a concussion. He is clearly shaken and needs some to help him walk off the field. For now, it looks like Houston is down to 9 players.
12:22, 105 minutes: The first extra time period is over, and Pachuca and Houston are still tied, 2-2. To me it looks like Pachuca has gotten tired in the last 20 to 30 minutes, and they are a but more mistake prone. This may have led to all of the fouls they committed in that time.
12:25, 107th minute: Wondolowski breaks away from the Pachuca defense and fires a bullet at the net. Miguel Calero is there to make the nice stop.
12:30, 112th minute: Yeah, Joseph Ngwenya, you know you’ve earned a yellow card when you tear off your opponent’s shirt.
12:33, 115th minute: CHING! That’s the 15th or so time Pablo Ramirez has resorted to CHING! in this broadcast.
12:34, 116th minute: Pachuca came very close to scoring the game winner on that one, but the header deflected that ball a bit too much. The Dynamo player going for his ankles probably didn’t help, either.
12:37, 119th minute: If Houston ultimately wins this game, the one man most responsible, more than anyone else, is Brian Mullan, who has managed to stop many Pachuca chances and play sound defense all night.
12:39, 120 minutes: Extra time is over, we’re still tied at 2, and now we go to penalty kicks. If Waibel is kicking, Houston is doomed.
12:46: Houston and Wade Barrett are kicking first…and he scores right up the middle, faking out Calero to the left. 1-0, Houston on PKs.
12:47: Fernando Salazar responds in kind, and we’re tied a 1.
12:48: Wondolowski hits the post…bit it bounces into the net. Pachuca score easily too, and we’re tied at 2.
12:50: Mulrooney scores for Houston, and Luis Gabriel Rey gets it past Onstad’s outstreched hands. 3-3.
12:51: Pablo ramirez cannot resist the joke one last time. brian;s kick goes CHING off the left post…but Onstad stops the next PK, and we’re still tied, 3-3.
12:52: Now it’s up to Ngwenya. wait. WHAT THE F— WAS THAT! That may have been the weakest penalty kick I’ve ever seen. And it costs then the game, as Rafael Marquez Lugo scores on the next kick to give Pachuca the win, 4-3 on penalty kicks. Brian Ching and Joseph Ngwenya, Houston’s two best offensive players, couldn’t capitalize when it mattered most. This was a good game by both teams, but I’m definitely rooting for Pachuca to lose the final on August 29th.