BY ADAM SERRANO
A goal by Houston Dynamo forward Domnic Oduro was all that Houston needed to defeat Puebla, 1-0 on Wednesday. The victory allowed the Dynamo to claim first place in Group A and gave the Texas club a date in the Superliga semifinals.
The match began slowly for both clubs, but grew lively in the 63rd minute after a Corey Ashe free kick was headed down by Cam Weaver for a streaking Dominic Oduro, who made the score 1-0 for the Dynamo. As Puebla sought to even up the match, the Camateros grew desperate and the match started to grow ugly late in the match in the 83rd minute, a foul by Melvin Brown on Houston midfielder Anthony Obodai set off a violent scuffle that when completed would leave Puebla down two men. The Dynamo were already down a man with Danny Cruz's ejection moments earlier.
The match ended with 12 cards and 35 fouls in total in what was an extremely heated match between the two clubs. Houston will be without the services of three players for their semi-final match up as Danny Cruz (Red Card), Joseph Ngwenya (Card accumulation) and Dominic Oduro (Red Card) will be unavailable.The Dynamo will now play Morelia while Puebla will take on the New England Revolution in the first week of August.
CHIVAS USA END SUPER LIGA ON A HIGH NOTE WITH DEFEAT OF PACHUCA
A Giancarlo Maldonado goal was the difference as Chivas USA ended Superliga play with a victory over Mexican club Pachuca on Wednesday.
When the match kicked off at Home Depot Center, both clubs were well aware due to the night's previous results — the Houston Dynamo's 1-0 victory over Puebla — that they would not be advancing in the competition, but with vital league games on the horizon each side actively sought the three points.
The Rojiblancos would strike in the 7th minute when Ante Jazic played a long direct pass to a streaking Maldonado who took the shot inside the 18 and buried it past the diving Pachuca goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota. The goal was the Venezuelan's first of his career with Chivas USA. Following the match, Chivas USA head Coach Martin Vasquez was optimistic about how his three new signings have gelled during Superliga play.
“We're very happy with Espinoza, because he's in rhythm, he's been playing," said Vasquez. "He comes in and he fits, he looks like he's been playing with us for a while. I think the adjustment is going to be very easy. … With Giancarlo (Maldonado), we saw today a goal and him moving and pressuring and being active. We're seeing signs of what we want from Giancarlo."
Pachuca's line up featured two Americans, Herculez Gomez and Marco Vidal who went the full 90 minutes in the loss. The Rojiblancos resume MLS play this weekend when they take on Real Salt Lake.