TUKWILA, WASH. – Tacoma Defiance advanced to the Western Conference Finals after defeating Houston Dynamo 2 in penalties on Sunday night at Starfire Stadium after the two sides played to a 2-2 draw following 120 minutes of action, battling back from an 0-2 hole. Marlon Vargas and an own goal by Houston provided Tacoma’s two scores, both coming after the 84th minute. With the win, Defiance advances to the Western Conference Finals to face St. Louis CITY2.
Houston got on the board first, scoring in the 41st minute. After a long-range effort was saved by Defiance goalkeeper Wallis Lapsley, Roberto Avila was able to pick up the rebound and finish from point-blank range. Dynamo 2 doubled its lead in the 50th minute when Jacob Evans got his head on a cross by Mujeeb Murana, smashing the ball into the net at the near post.
Defiance got a goal back courtesy of Vargas. After Tacoma drew a foul inside the area, Vargas stepped up to the spot and rifled a shot into the top right corner to get the home side on the board. Defiance leveled the match at the death when a cross deflected off Houston’s Paulo Lima and into the back of the net in the 94th minute.
After an additional 30 minutes of scoreless action, the two sides headed to penalty kicks. Houston's Lima skied his attempt, while Tacoma buried all of its attempts, culminating with Achille Robin’s make, sending the home side to the next round.
Defiance now travels to face St. Louis CITY2 for the Western Conference Finals, with the date and time of that fixture still to be determined.
Tacoma Defiance 2 (5) – Houston Dynamo 2 2 (4)
Sunday, September 25, 2022
Venue: Starfire Stadium
Referee: Thomas Snyder
Weather: 70 degrees and sunny
HOU – Roberto Avila 40’
HOU – Jacob Evans (Mujeeb Murana) 50’
TAC – Marlon Vargas (penalty) 84’
TAC – Paulo Lima (own goal) 90+4’
HOU – Diego Gonzalez (scored)
TAC – Marlon Vargas (scored)
HOU – Daniel Esteban Rios (scored)
TAC – Hal Uderitz (scored)
HOU – David Marcelo Palomino (scored)
TAC – Valentin Sabella (scored)
HOU – Paulo Lima (missed)
TAC – Travian Sousa (scored)
HOU – Kyle Edwards (scored)
TAC – Achille Robin (scored)
HOU – Brooklyn Raines (caution) 6'
TAC – Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (caution) 10’
TAC – Achille Robin (caution) 14’
HOU – Mujeeb Murana (caution) 32’
HOU – Beto Avila (caution) 52’
TAC – Joe Hafferty (caution) 76’
HOU – Micael dos Santos Silva (caution) 83’
HOU – Jathan Juarez (caution) 90+2'
TAC – Valentin Sabella (caution) 110'
LINEUPS & STATS
Tacoma Defiance – Wallis Laspley, Cody Baker, Achille Robin, Hal Uderitz, Joe Hafferty, Fito Ovalle – captain (Juan Alvarez, 100’), Sota Kitahara, Georgi Minoungou (Valentin Sabella, 55’), Marlon Vargas, Travian Sousa, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez
Substitutes not used: Wyatt Nelson, Snyder Brunell, Alfred Gombe-Fei, Etienne Veillard
Total shots: 25
Shots on goal: 6
Houston Dynamo 2 – Michael Nelson; Mujeeb Murana, Ethan Andrew Bartlow, Micael dos Santos Silva, Jathan Juarez (Paolo Rios, 117'); Roberto Avila (Kyle Edwards, 64’), Paulo Lima, David Marcelo Palomino, Brooklyn Raines (Diego Gonzalez, 64’), Isaiah LeFlore (Daniel Esteban Rios, 85’); Jacob Evans (Diego Rosas, 85’)
Substitutes not used: Andrew Pannenberg, Sterling Penniston-John, Papa Ndoye, Joyner Castillo
Total shots: 18
Shots on goal: 6