Pulsating atmosphere. A sea of green with a few flecks of orange. Deflected passes. Lots of opportunities. Awful finishing. Pat Onstad's momentary lapse of reason. Nate Jacqua bloodied and bandaged carrying on like a gladiator. Lots of fouls and yellow cards.
These were some of the more visceral images of the Seattle vs Houston match which ended in a fascinating draw but not before they proved that the shortest distance between two points is a not a straight line. And on the one occasion it was, Pat Onstad was there to save Jacqua's header. Otherwise it was angles which missed. Patrick Ianni being particularly unlucky as his header was first cleared by Brian Mullan in a goal line save after Onstad was beaten and then on a second occasion, his header of a Ljungberg free kick caroms of the crossbar.
The Dynamo showed spells of better ball control and looked more organized with Holden, Davis, Mullan and Clark particularly businesslike. However, they could not translate it into anything meaningful.
Some of Seattle's players were no shows in this match. Fredy Montero except for one or two moments of magic had a relatively subdued game. Steve Zakuani was a bit of a lightweight chasing and losing the ball regularly down the left. Freddie Ljungberg was peripatetic and stirred up the midfield but some of his corners and passes left much to be desired.
Ricardo Salazar, the referee made a hash not giving an advantage after a foul was committed by a Dynamo player and Jacqua's goal was called off as Salazar had already blown the whistle which no one heard. He made Alan Wiley look the energizer bunny.
The return leg is at Robertson Stadium on November 8th.