The Houston Dynamo have been knocked out of the MLS is Back Tournament in gut-wrenching fashion, as a late penalty kick from Cristian Pavon allowed the LA Galaxy to salvage a 1-1 draw in Group F play on Thursday evening.
Needing a victory to advance and leading thanks to a first-half free kick from Darwin Quintero, the Dynamo were right on the doorstep until yielding the late equalizer, which sends NYCFC through to the Knockout Stage. The Galaxy are also eliminated with the result.
Quintero put Houston on top on a 17th-minute free kick, as the 32-year-old attacker curled it in from 25 yards out past Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham, who got caught flat-footed, and into the net.
That lead would stand all the way into the waning moments of the match, when Houston’s Maynor Figueroa was whistled for a foul in own box, allowing Pavon to equalize from the spot and eliminate Houston from the tournament.