The Reds looked the better side despite testing conditions in the wind and the busy Josh Harrop had an early penalty shout waved away after good approach work by van Velzen and James Weir. Another neat move involving Reece James and van Velzen then led to Harrop firing wide when he perhaps should have hit the target.
So the 20th-minute opener came very much against the run of play when a free-kick on the right was bundled home, with Brandon Aubrey getting the final touch, to cue wild celebrations from the Texans.
United stepped up a gear but Mats Daehli could only hit the near post after being found by a delightful Adnan Januzaj pass. Moments later, a free-kick on the right from Januzaj appeared to strike van Velzen on its way into the net.
It was no more than Joyce’s side deserved and van Velzen lashed over the bar on the turn after more eye-catching play by confident left-back James. The Dutch forward was then guilty of a weak finish after strong play in the build-up and he forced a save at the near post as the pressure started to build leading up to half time.
On the negative front, Januzaj was booked for simulation inside the box and a free header could have resulted in another Dallas goal from a set-piece but the Reds ended the half in the ascendancy as James’ low cross almost led to an own goal.
Despite the introduction of Sunday night's two-goal hero James Wilson, the Reds initially