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Dynamo Film Session: Mancosu takes advantage of Houston mistake, wins it late for Montreal

Analyzing Matteo Mancosu's game-winning goal for Montreal.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo should have gotten a point from Montreal. The goal they gave up was preventable, and there were times in the game that they looked like the better team. But they didn't, they lost 1-0, and fans continue to grow frustrated with this team.

Stick with it. It gets better.

I suggest you listen to that song again at the end of this article, because I'm going analyze the goal the Dynamo gave up against the Impact.

This play starts with Cristian Maidana on the ball in midfield:

Maidana (8, circled in orange) just came deep to receive a pass from Jalil Anibaba with his back to goal. Eric Alexander (white line) is the closest Dynamo player to him, so with the position he is in right now, it appears that the natural play for Maidana would be to slide it along to Alexander.

The Impact are pressing them pretty closely, which isn't a surprise, considering how late in the game it is and that they will want to push hard for a winner at home against the worst team in the Western Conference. Four Montreal players are surrounding the two Dynamo midfielders.

The Argentine makes the natural decision, deciding to give it to Alexander. Immediately after he makes the pass, Maidana looks back and expects a return ball as he splits two Montreal players. Alexander, facing pressure from Michael Salazar, will look to get the ball off of his feet sooner rather than later.

He would be smart to either find the overlapping Abdoulie Mansally or turn it back to the center backs.

Alexander forces the pass, and it's easily intercepted by Marco Donadel (circled). Of all players to give the ball away to in that situation, Donadel would be one of the worst, because he has the ability to pick out any player on the field with an incisive through-ball or long ball. He has the time and space to do that here.

The Dynamo are now extremely vulnerable. Mansally (circled in orange) is out of position, as are Alexander and Collen Warner, leaving Anibaba and David Horst alone at the back.

Donadel decides to hit an early ball in the direction of Matteo Mancosu, who is alone up top. It's 2v1, a battle the Dynamo should win.

Anibaba and Horst cannot let Mancosu bring the ball down. They have to stay goal-side on him and get some sort of touch on the ball. This should not be hard.

Somehow, Mancosu manages to bring the ball down despite pressure from Anibaba. The Italian center forward whips around and volleys an impressive blast into the net, earning himself GOTW candidacy.

This is bad defense from the two central defenders, but this goal — from a Dynamo perspective — is more about the turnover in midfield. That errant pass from Alexander is emblematic of struggles that have plagued Houston for a while now: They struggle to keep possession of the ball in the middle third and build up play centrally. Too often, they force passes or get nervous and succumb to pressure, ending any promising buildups that happen to arise.

This is yet another problem they have to fix. But remember, it gets better.