Obinna Nwobodo lifts FC Cincinnati over Dynamo in opener

Obinna Nwobodo scored in his MLS debut, three minutes into the second half, to break a tie and send FC Cincinnati's 2-1 victory over the visiting Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.

After Alvaro Barreal sent the ball into the box from the left flank, it bounced around, then found the foot of the trailing Nwobodo, whose strike glanced off a Dynamo foot before hopping over the goal line to snap a 1-1 tie at the 48-minute mark.

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The Nigerian defender wasn't the only newcomer to score for Cincinnati, which got a 19-minute goal from Sergio Santos, as the hosts opened in good form after making the playoffs for the first time in the club's young history last season.

Meanwhile, the Dynamo are again in rebuilding mode with a revamped roster for new coach Ben Olsen. However, Houston played with spirit and got an equalizing goal from its own newcomer, Tate Schmitt, in the second minute of first-half stoppage time.

Cincinnati was the aggressor from the start. Santos, who found himself in a good position to convert moments earlier, got the job done, with help via a well-served ball from Barreal just before the 20-minute mark.

Houston's first shot on target came in the 25th minute, when Adalberto Carrasquilla sent a well-struck ball into a sliding Cincinnati keeper Roman Celetano (seven saves). However, the Dynamo continued to press as the first half progressed. Ivan Franco had a ball saved in the 31st minute, then Hector Herrera and Sebastian Ferreira each failed to convert quality looks.

The Dynamo eventually were rewarded just before halftime, when Schmitt out-jumped the rest to head home Herrera's brilliantly-placed corner. Despite FCC's strong start, Houston held 60 percent of the first-half possession -- and 62.1 per the entire match.

After Cincinnati regained the lead, the Dynamo continued to push, with key chances from Schmitt and Franco that Celetano was able to save. Celentano then came up with a huge stop on a low burner from Ethan Bartlow in the 85th.