Holden scores twice to lead Dynamo past Atlante
HOUSTON -- Stuart Holden scored twice, and Houston used a three-goal first half to beat Atlante 4-0 in the first game of Pool A play in Superliga for both teams Saturday night.
Dwayne De Rosario gave Dynamo the lead in the 20th minute when he received a pass from Brad Davis off a free kick from 35 yards out on the right sideline. De Rosario headed the ball into the left.
In the 21st minute, De Rosario passed to Geoff Cameron on the lower post, who crossed it to Holden in front of an open net in the middle, and Holden tapped it in for the goal. Holden netted another goal in the 29th minute off a pass from Wade Barrett.
Barrett passed it to Holden from the left box to just left of the middle box, and Holden got his right foot on it and nudged it past goalkeeper Federico Vilar to put Houston up 3-0 at the half.
Houston extended their lead in the 54th minute on a goal by Brian Mullan. Cameron crossed a pass from the right box to the middle, and Mullan came sliding in to fire a shot into the left side of the net.
Just before halftime, tempers flared between the two teams as De Rosario reacted to a hard foul by Atlante's Javier Munoz Mustafa. De Rosario retaliated by pushing Mustafa, and Mustafa punched De Rosario's left face. Every player on the field except for Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad came together along the right sideline in front of the Atlante bench, but no more punches were thrown.
De Rosario and Mustafa were given red cards in the 44th minute for the incident, and they will both miss the next game. The loss could be big for Houston, who played Saturday without leading scorer Brian Ching, who missed the game because of an abdominal injury. De Rosario is the second-leading scorer on the Dynamo.
Houston faces Chivas Guadalajara Tuesday in Houston, while Atlante travels to D.C. United on Tuesday for the second game of Pool A play.