Superliga Matchday 3 Group A Stream of Conscious

20 July 2008

DC United 1 v Houston Dynamo 2
* Maybe it's just me, but I thought Onstad's save off Emilio's header was more routine than the announcers made it out to be.

* Nice run by Ricardo Clark to get to the near post, but Zach Wells has to fight more to get to that near post. To further that, where was the cover on the post.

* Fred, you can't collar someone and expect not to see the book. Good decision by the referee to show him the yellow.

* I'd like to know what the referee booked Emilio for? If anything, you could argue it should have been a free kick to DC United. As for the celebration, did you have to shoot off the shotgun?

* Great free kick from Brad Davis and where was the marking on Boswell. Did it also look like Wells didn't look bothered trying to save it?

* I give Emilio credit for trying that shot on the endline, but when you have no help you have no choice really.

* With Zach Wells playing as badly as he has in this first half, I don't blame De Rosario for that shot from distance.

* No patience what so ever from DC United. I understand the need from time to time shooting from distance, but shooting just to shoot is reckless.

* I question if DC United even want to play this game. They look like a team who are doing everything at half speed. Houston are having their way with DC United and even with United towards the end of the half trying to save face, it doesn't appear that DC United will be able to. This is simply disgusting from DC United as there is no shape in their midfield, no shape at the back and the most inexcusable thing of all, no marking in the final third. DC United aren't helping out moving forward either.

* I wonder if Robinson is seeing stars after that collision. A boot to the face is never fun.

* DC United look more content with trying to rest some people for Tuesday now they haven't had pulled a goal back inside the first fifteen minutes.

* I don't want to mean condescending, but there is DC United's consolation goal. Pat Onstad makes the mistake of missing the ball off the corner and Ricardo Clark's marking of Francis Doe wasn't great.

* Onstad would have been beaten as Kirk decided to take the long distance shot.

* Good grief DC United may as well not even be on the park after Holden's goal. Carroll and McTavish out of position and Carroll despite trying to get back was god awful. Wells wasn't going to save it but I would have liked to see an effort trying to.

* Great challenge from Corey Ashe to deny Craig Thompson.

* I think the best way to sum up this game is simple. Set pieces killed DC United in the first half and the second half played out just like every second half for DC United in this competition. DC United would pull one back, get a couple of close chances only to have their hopes dashed by something. The first leg would be Moreno's penalty miss. The second leg would be missed chances once DC United made it 2-3 and tonight would be Holden's goal. Houston though dominated this game from minute one and won this game without too much of an effort.

Atlante 2 v Chivas de Guadalajara 0
* With the sun in the Chivas keeper's eyes, it doesn't hurt to try a couple of shots from distance.

* Nasty injury to Munoz of Atlante. It takes alot to get me to cringe on an injury and that tackle made me cringe.

* Great skill from Arellano to get just enough space from two defenders and get the chip off on goal. He deserved to finish it.

* Tight marking prevented Gabriel Pereyra from finishing Maldonado's centering ball. Michel with a much more routine save than from earlier in the first half.

* Great goal by Maldonado. Beautiful passing from the midfield and Magallon and Reynoso were torn apart by the Maldonado run. Great finish to a first half that had the natives restless for some action in front of goal.

* The first half was a pleasure to watch. The good ball movement, the physicality and the technical skill was just a joy to see. Chivas better not take this game lightly as a loss could sees them out of this competition. Atlante have deserved the lead as they to me were the stronger side. The crowd has been raucous, and the atmosphere intense.

* Oh Chivas should have equalized through Baez. Unfortunate for him, the ball got caught up under his feet giving the Atlante backline to close down.

* I'm still trying to figure out what was wrong with the disallowed goal that would have put Atlante 2-0 up. It looked good to me.

* Referee gets this call right. Castillo got Arellano just a yard outside the penalty area. However that was a god awful free kick, right to the keeper.

* So close from Arellano as his latest chance off the corner goes off the post. It wouldn't have been so dramatic had Atlante had someone covering the far post.

* With as many attackers Chivas de Guadalajara have on the field right now, wouldn't you think that Atlante may set up for the counter attack.

* Great job by Espinoza to follow up Pereyra's header off the post. He was the only one who knew where that ball ended up off the woodwork and his finish was about as automatic as can be.

* Thoughts go out to Luis Michel. I understand that Atlante (it looked like Munoz to me but I am not sure) was going for a follow up, but the apparent arm break was not pleasant to watch.

* Well if I have understood the tie break procedures here with 3 teams on 6 points, Houston wins on group differential and that due to Atlante's win over Chivas de Guadalajara, Atlante advances to the semi-finals. To be honest about it, Chivas can feel hard done by for not getting an equalizer, but their all out attack bit them as Atlante was able to win a set piece off the counter attack and a little clean up work later are 2-0 ahead. Once the injury happened to Michel, I wish the referee would have just blown for full time. Nobody seemed like they wanted to play after that. For the Goats, it's a case of De ja vu.


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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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