Down 2-0, the Houston Dynamo started their comeback in the 70th minute of regulation play against the Seattle Sounders during Saturday’s Mobile Mini Sun Cup game at Kino North Stadium.
Within 20 minutes, the Dynamo scored three goals — all while one man short on the field — to beat its MLS rival. The last two goals came from bench players.
“It’s just positive,” Houston coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “That shows the commitment and mentality the guys went in (with), but we need to continue working.
“We could have lost this game and I’m not worried. We could have scored a lot of goals and I’m not worried about it because right now our objective is to get the fitness done and be prepared for what is coming.”
Seattle got the quick lead on Houston when Nicolas Lodeiro scored on an assist from Victor Rodriguez in the 14th minute. It extended the score four minutes later on a goal by Raul Ruidiaz.
Up 2-0, the Sounders continued controlling the game the majority of the first half and were quick to thwart the Dynamo offense.
Houston suffered two yellow cards before halftime, given to Juan David Cabezas and Matthias Fara.
The Dynamo had a chance to score early in the second half on a penalty kick drawn by DaMarcus Beasley. Romell Quioto took the shot, but his aim was too high.
Still holding a strong lead, the Sounders decided to pull all of their starters and sub in 11 new guys off the bench.
Just after, Houston’s Kiki Struna drew a red card, causing the Dynamo to finish the game one man short.
Cabrera said he noticed Seattle’s bench looked inexperienced and wanted to take advantage of it. And Houston did.
In the 70th minute, Cabezas scored Houston’s first goal. Five minutes later, Houston subbed in eight fresh players.
Marlon Hairston, who came off the bench, immediately started contributing. Hairston passed a through ball over to Ronaldo Pena, who went on to score the second goal to tie the game.
Then, in the 88th minute, Hairston scored on an uncontested breakaway for the go-ahead goal.
“The guys responded very well. Even though you play against unexperienced (players), you have to score three goals in 15 minutes,” Cabrera said. “And they were able to do it with 10 men.”
The Houston Dynamo will play their final game of the Mobile Mini Sun Cup on Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City at 4 p.m. Later that night, Seattle will face off against the Portland Timbers at 7 p.m.