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FC Dallas picks up a point in a 2-2 draw against the Houston Dynamo

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Ricardo Pepi scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season.

MLS: FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The second leg of the 2021 Texas Derby was more like the first one as FC Dallas tied the Houston Dynamo 2-2 on Saturday night in South Texas.

FC Dallas got two second half goals from Nkosi Tafari and Ricardo Pepi to help pull themselves out of an early hole created by former winger Fafa Picault.

Houston put Dallas on their heels early on in this one and was rewarded in the 25th minute as Picault took a good touch into the penalty box before being brought down by Ema Twumasi. Picault stepped up to the penalty spot and hammered it past Jimmy Maurer.

Dallas pulled one back in this one early in the second half in the 54th minute on a corner kick that saw Pepi find the ball on the back post. The Homegrown’s shot was blocked but Tafari was able to get a foot on the ball and find the back of the net for his first career goal.

Four minutes later Pepi put Dallas on top as Dallas took the ball off a bad clearance in the Dynamo defensive end. Jesus Ferreira gathered the ball at the top of the penalty box before dishing it off to his left side where Pepi was there to slot it home for his ninth of the season.

The Dynamo were able to respond in the 72nd minute as Matias Vera took an open chance from outside the penalty box to beat Maurer.

Instant Reaction: While draws on the road are still miles better than a loss, this one was rough at times to watch. The first half seemed like FC Dallas had no energy or bite to their attack. Freddy Vargas came on for the injured Paxton Pomykal and really struggled to add anything positive to the attack. It did seem as though the injury early on to Bressan rocked the mindset of the team and how they handled things defensively.

The second half was better with the two quick goals. But once again, injuries in the back rattled this group and the Dynamo were good enough to make Dallas pay for it.

In all fairness, this result feels right for both sides as neither really seemed to put their foot down on the pedal to take control of this one.

Man of the match: Pepi seems like a good shout for this one as he picked up his ninth goal of the year and helped force the goal for Tafari.

What’s next for FC Dallas: The club will stay on the road for the second straight weekend as we head to Austin for the first time next Sunday.