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Dynamo Film Session: Analyzing Alex's winning goal

In a crucial Western Conference battle, the Dynamo got the better of San Jose thanks to a late winner by Alex. In this installment of Dynamo Film Session, we take a look at how it happened.

Alex's game-winner gave the Dynamo the three points they needed.
Alex's game-winner gave the Dynamo the three points they needed.
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo and the San Jose Earthquakes faced off on Saturday in a battle that wasn't necessarily a rivalry, but it was as competitive as one.

With both clubs on the fringe of the playoffs, it was huge for both. While it wasn't a showdown of MVP candidates like Toronto FC vs. Sporting KC was, and it didn't feature the MLS debut of an international star, like LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders did, it was just as important.

The outcome played in favor of Houston: A 2-1 victory for the hosts that came as a result of Alex's winner with just 13 minutes left.

In this edition of Dynamo Film Session, we examine the all-important score at length.

The buildup begins with right back Sheanon Williams surveying his options on the wing.

Williams (circled in gray) has tons of space to work. No defender is challenging him one on one, so he has room to do pretty much whatever he wants.

Boniek Garcia (in red) sees the space and quickly steps away from a defender to show for Williams.

As the pass makes its way to Garcia, Williams begins to sprint down the wing, looking for the give and go. The defender nearest to him (top, with red lines) doesn't react quick enough to the run and therefore is in a bad position to defend, though he does end up close to Williams.

Circled in orange are seven players, four in blue, three in orange, that seem poised to get set up in the box for a cross. This is probably the reason Williams decided to make a run down the flank: He has plenty of people that he can cross to.

Garcia makes a good turn and sees Williams, making the pass through. As Williams is in a footrace with the defender (a race he easily won), two players, one from each team, dropped out of the group entering the box.

This is good for the Dynamo because the less defenders there are, the better chance you have of finding the back of net, even if you have less attackers; like in hockey, where if you have a 4v3 power-play you are more likely to score than on a 5v4.

Williams gets to the ball first and sets up for a pass. But unfortunately for Houston, another defender came into play and the other attacker stepped to the side to give Williams another option to pass to.

Alex (with red line) races into the box without a defender in striking distance despite being outnumbered.

The cross is a low one, and originally appears to be blocked by a defender. But it gets through him and now the concern for Alex is whether the keeper can get a hand on it.

The man marking Alex remains in a hopeless position, unable to intercept the ball if it gets to the attacker.

It squeezes by the goalie and therefore is an easy finish.

Alex makes the right run and Garcia has a big role in the buildup, but this goal is created by Williams and his ability to successfully push up the field and send in dangerous balls. He gets a deserved assist for this.