Superliga Semi-Final 1 Stream of Consciousness

30 July 2008

Houston Dynamo v Pachuca
* While the field looks much better than in the group stages, it still doesn’t look the greatest in the world to play on.

* Calero with an excellent denial of De Rosario’s volley. I swore that was 1-0 to Houston.

* As the first half has worn out, Pachuca is doing an exceptional job keeping it’s shape while Houston appears to be pressing and twisting themselves out of shape.

* I would like to know where the yellow card is for Bruno Marioni’s dive over the knee of Wade Barrett? The Olympic diving judges would have had no choice but to give a 10. The face he milked it for as long as he did was embarrassing.

* Great pass from Ricardo Clark to find De Rosario. However he had help and despite what Glenn Davis is saying, he had the angle to make that final pass. To try and play hero in that situation was just plain dumb and stupid.

* A very interesting first half to say the least. A half where Pachuca’s shape stifled any real threat the Houston Dynamo created. Two real chances for Houston in the first half, both my De Rosario. The volley early in the half was turned over well by Callero, the counter was just a bad read from De Rosario as he had the help. While it won’t appear on any stat sheet, Pachuca started to turn the screw late in the first half. That is something that will have to worry Dominic Kinnear as the second half goes on. As it stands right now, I really feel this game is going to be decided from the spot.

* Lighting fast start from Pachuca to start the second half. Pat Onstad with at least one great reaction save and another decent save to deny Pachuca from scoring the opener.

* Houston is riding some of the biggest luck ever with that disallowed goal. I don’t care what camera angle you show me, Correa was onside by at least two feet.

* This game has opened up and in a good way. Decent tempo, good passing, and both sides don’t seem to be conceding their shape.

* Perfect corner kick for Houston. Excellent flick on from Waibel and wouldn’t you know it. The man DC United got rid of has put Houston in front. Calero was grounded to the far post and not a single soul marked Boswell or the back post.

* I think Corey Ashe’s unmarked header at the far post unleashed a giant breath of relief throughout the CONCACAF region. Perfect ball in, an even more beautiful header.

* Pachuca had 20 minutes where they controlled this game, but Pat Onstad between the posts did a remarkable job keeping them in the game. Houston was smart about their substitutions and once Pachuca started to fatigue, it was case of when. I honestly am shocked about this result because I didn’t see Pachuca in a knockout situation anytime soon. However, one does have to ask a simple question. That question being, how does this game change should Correa’s goal not been disallowed.

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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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