The Dynamo hosted the San Jose Earthquakes in an afternoon match between sides separated by just 1 point in the Western Conference. The Dynamo maintained their unbeaten run at home in a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Cubo Torres and Alberth Elis.
In a first half largely filled with midfield battles and sloppy play by both sides in the attacking third, the Dynamo were able to get on the board early with a penalty in the 9th minute. San Jose’s Fatai Alashe lunged in and upended Alex as he streaked into the box.
Was there significant contact? If so, would Alex have reached the ball if not impeded? In the end it didn’t matter as the referee pointed to the spot. Cubo Torres stepped up to take the penalty and calmly slotted down the middle for his seventh goal of the season.
7️⃣ games. 7️⃣ goals.@erickestefano15 adds to his season total from the spot. 1-0. #HOUvSJ https://t.co/m6P7niGXcq— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 22, 2017
The most positive takeaway on the day was the Dynamo’s second half performance. Houston has produced multiple second-half collapses in the opening matches of the 2017 season, but the Dynamo showed signs of improvement in the ten minutes following the restart. They were able to keep their composure to secure the shutout while also producing a much needed insurance goal later in the half. The men in orange enjoyed the majority of possession and produced several promising sequences of play, lacking only the final ball needed to open up the San Jose defense.
The Dynamo’s first corner of the day didn’t come until the 72nd but Alberth Elis took full advantage of goalkeeper David Bingham’s swing and miss for the second goal. Elis found himself open in a pocket of space at the back post and finished from close range into an empty net.
GOOOOAAAALLLLL DYNAMOOOOO@AlberthElis17 is at the back post to knock in the corner kick! 2-0! #HOUvSJ pic.twitter.com/rTk25vxYZd— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) April 22, 2017
Elis exited the match just minutes later and was replaced by Mauro Manotas in a move illustrating Wilmer Cabrera’s intent to keep the foot on the gas.
The Dynamo nearly put the game to bed in the 86th minute when a partially cleared corner found its way to Juan David Cabezas and the Colombian’s effort rattled the crossbar. Houston finished with three attempts on target while San Jose managed just two.
The Dynamo will take on MLS Cup Finalists Toronto FC at BMO Field on Friday.
Today's @GEICO starting XI: Willis; K. Garcia, Machado, Leonardo, Beasley ©; B. García, Cabezas, Alex, Alexander; Elis, Torres #HOUvSJ pic.twitter.com/GibCDf2eiA— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) April 22, 2017
Introducing your starting XI for today's match against the @HoustonDynamo! #HOUvSJ | #ForwardAsOne pic.twitter.com/LVhoI4IqXS— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) April 22, 2017