What a Decision Day in MLS. While many of the teams had already locked up a spot in the playoffs many were still playing for final position and a few were still jostling to get into the Knockout Round of the playoffs. The Houston Dynamo locked up their playoffs last week as had Chicago but both teams were looking for three points to help them finish with better positioning in their respective conferences.
On Sunday, it didn’t take long for Houston to jump out to a lead over Chicago. In the second minute of the game Leonardo headed in a long thrown in from Adolfo Machado to put Houston up 1-0.
The excitement of the lead gave way to concern as AJ DeLaGarza went down on the field without contact in the tenth minute of the game. After being down for a minute DeLaGarza limped off the field and the Dynamo played down a man for a few minutes before subbing on Jalil Anibaba in his place. At halftime Corey Roepken tweeted out that it was left knee sprain that took DeLaGarza out of the game.
Romell Quioto almost double the lead for the Dynamo in the 39th minute of the game. Alex passed the ball to Quioto at the top of box. The forward cutting past the Fire defense, Quioto got his shot off, but it went just wide of the net.
In the 58th minute Alex passed the ball into Quioto at the 6 yard line. The pass gave Quioto a chance at goal but Fire goalkeeper Richard Sanchez was able to get to the ball just ahead of Quioto to prevent a chance at goal. The defense was able to clear the ball after Sanchez denied Quioto.
However, Quioto would not be denied forever. Leonardo made a long pass up the field to Quioto who was 1v1 against a Fire defender. With the ball Quioto was able to work his way to goal. Sanchez was able to get his hand on the shot but in curved into the net instead of away to give Houston a 2-0 lead in the 68th minute.
Houston would extend their lead again just seven minutes later. Alex played great ball to Andrew Wenger. Wenger passed the ball to Mauro Manotas putting it just out of the reach of the Fire defense. Manotas easily put his shot into goal to make it 3-0 for Houston.
The flick, the cross, the finish. #HOUvCHI https://t.co/m0Wgi38ZnS— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) October 22, 2017
In the 86th minute Nemanja Nikolic almost scored for the Fire with a screamer of a shot from distance. Unfortunately for Nikolic is went off the bar and away from the net. Three minutes later he had another shot at goal but his shot went wide.
After three minutes of stoppage time the 3-0 scoreline held and Houston walked away with three more points. The win put Houston into fourth place in the Western Conference and they will host SKC in the Knockout Round of the MLS playoffs. The game will be either Wednesday or Thursday this week. The exact day will be determined later today.
In other #DecisionDay news, the San Jose Earthquakes won their game in stoppage time which knocked FC Dallas out of the playoffs. With no chance of face Dallas again this season Houston will retain possession of El Capitan for another year.
Today's Starting XI: Deric; DeLaGarza ©, Machado, Leonardo, Remick; Cabezas, Alex, Alexander; Wenger, Manotas, Quioto #HOUvCHI pic.twitter.com/PNflz19gb0— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) October 22, 2017
Big opportunity ahead— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) October 22, 2017
Here's our Starting XI pres. by @UIHealth. The #HOUvCHI Pregame Show starts at 2:30pm on @NBCSChicago. #cf97 pic.twitter.com/lvWbBOx6TS
13' SUB: Jalil Anibaba on for A.J. DeLaGarza, who had to be helped off the field with an apparent leg injury. #HOUvCHI— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) October 22, 2017
66' @joaomeira06 enters as the first #cf97 sub, replacing @MattPolster.— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) October 22, 2017
69' SUB: The goalscorer Romell Quioto comes off, Alberth Elis replaces him. #HOUvCHI— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) October 22, 2017
71' @Juninho19CF makes his return, his first appearance since Sept. 9. He'll replace @iamdavidaccam. #cf97— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) October 22, 2017
73' @Bronibro13 is the final #cf97 sub, on to replace @DaxMcCarty11.— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) October 22, 2017