Action from the CONCACAF Champions League game between DIRECTV W Connection (white) and the Houston Dynamo on August 20, 2013, at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. (Photo: Anthony Harris)
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The Houston Dynamo and host DIRECTV W Connection shared the points, playing to a scoreless draw in a CONCACAF Champions League Group 1 match at Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday.
W Connection, which lost its Group Stage opener, 3-1, on the road to Panama’s Arabe Unido, had the first dangerous scoring opportunity in the 16th minute, but a sliding Mirko Delia couldn’t latch onto a low cross toward the back post by Kurt Frederick.
Houston, which was playing its Group Stage opener, nearly went into halftime with a lead. Brian Ching played a nice one-touch pass to Cam Weaver, freeing the forward into the box. Weaver took a touch, but then fired his attempt well over the bar from 15 meters in the 37th minute.
The Dynamo could not turn its second-half possession into concrete chances on goal. In the 59th minute, Alexander Lopez found space outside the box, but his low shot bounced wide of the right post.
Three minutes later, Houston had its first dangerous set piece opportunity. Driver’s shot from 24 meters eluded the four-man wall and went directly into the arms of W Connection goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa.
Giles Barnes, who scored a brace in a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders on the weekend, entered the match in the 67th minute as a substitute for Ching. The English forward, however, wasn’t able to duplicate his domestic magic.
In the 71st minute, Houston nearly capitalized off a Driver corner kick, but after the ball was headed down by Weaver in the box, Jason Johnson’s shot from 16 meters was blocked in front of the goal.
One minute later, Kyle Benjamin had a golden opportunity to score in his second consecutive CONCACAF Champions League match, staring at an open net on a 2-on-0 break. The 18-year-old’s first-time attempt from four meters went off the outside netting.
Benjamin had another great chance in the 84th minute, but he put his lob from inside the box off the crossbar before falling to the grass suffering from leg cramps.
Weaver put a header on frame in the third minute of second-half stoppage time that was momentarily bobbled by Figueroa, who quickly recovered to end the tense scoreless draw.
Houston, which booked its fourth CONCACAF Champions League berth by reaching the MLS Cup final for a second straight year, returns to Champions League play next Tuesday when it hosts Arabe Unido at BBVA Compass Stadium. W Connection doesn’t play its next Group 1 match until September 19 against visiting Arabe Undio.