I plug in the word "surprise" in Google and get an absurd amount of very inappropriate pictures. That just ain't right.
Anyway, the surprise in this case is the Houston Dynamo. The Sunkist will be flowing in the streets of Houston tonight as the Dynamo pulled the big 2-0 victory over reigning Copa Sudamericana champs Pachuca. Coach Kinnear pulled some surprises, putting Eddie Robinson and Brian Ching into the starting lineup, even though he had originally ruled them out. I guess that extra 22 hours did the trick, huh?
In the other match, DC eked out a 1-1 draw with Chivas at Estadio RFK. From what I could tell, the result was pretty fair. Omar Bravo's goal was rather lucky, heading in off a deflection from Bryan Namoff. Luciano Emilio's goal in stoppage time surprised me, I thought he was done at around the 60th minute due to the beating he was taking from the Chivas defenders.
It seemed that the Chivas defensive strategy was to knock the ever-loving crap out of whoever most recently had the ball for DC around midfield. Usually it was the guy on the ball, sometimes it was the guy who had just passed the ball. Very physical, cynical play out of the Guadalajara Goats, but it was effective. If the referee isn't going to throw cards for persistent fouling, I can't fault the team for continuing to do it.
It will take a much better perfomance out of United to get through in Guadalajara. As for Houston, we might just see the rare 8-1-1 formation to start. Pack everyone in the box and just hope to survive 90 minutes. With a two goal lead, it might just be enough to see the Dynamo reach the final.
Who woulda thunk it?