Fresh off a loss on the road against the Seattle Sounders earlier in the week, the Houston Dynamo looked to find some success as the season begins to wind down. After the loss to Seattle, the Dynamo were eliminated from qualifying for the playoffs while hosts Los Angeles Football Club were in the thick of playoff positioning. Unfortunately for the Dynamo they were unable to get their second road win of the season as they ended up falling 2-4 at Banc of California Stadium.
During the opening minutes, both sides were lively on the offensive front, but were unable to make the most of their possession in the final third. LAFC carved through the Dynamo midfield, but the final pass was often picked out by the visitors. For Houston, they found some success after winning the ball back on the counter attack. With LAFC playing a high midfield, the Dynamo were able to utilize the space to generate offense, but like LAFC, the final pass before a shot was not there.
LAFC would begin to fire off some chances as the first half ticked on, but many of the efforts were off the mark or right at Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric. Carlos Vela had an opportunity to open the scoring in the 13th minute as he got loose down the right side of the field, but the shot, hit with pace, would go off the side netting. LAFC would come close to scoring again before the 22nd minute following a set piece opportunity. Walker Zimmerman got free back post and headed the free kick towards goal, but it would be easily grabbed by Deric.
Before the half hour mark the game would turn into a shoving match. The Dynamo wanted a foul by Benny Feilhaber who appeared to have fouled Oscar Boniek García. Play would continue and then a foul would be given to LAFC and after the play some pushing and shoving ensued. Center referee Alan Kelly broke things up and issued no cards. On the following free kick, Vela tried to pick out Danilo Silva, but Deric was able to come away with the ball.
Despite all the pressure by the home side, it would be the visiting Dynamo to break open the game in the 34th minute. A great ball to Mauro Manotas started a counter attack which saw Manotas in on goal. The ball was swept away by a rushing defender, but would stay with the Dynamo. A little 1-2 between Tomás Martínez and Boniek saw Boniek go 1v1 with LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller. Boniek then poked the ball wide to Manotas as Miller closed him down and Manotas would find the back of the net.
After the 35th minute, the weather in Los Angeles would turn sour forcing a 103 minute long weather delay. Mauro Manotas would play a great ball to set up Adam Lundqvist, who was playing in a left wing role, but Lundqvist’s chance wasn’t on target. LAFC would come close to equalizing in the 40th minute. An excellent through ball found its way to Aaron Kovar, but Leonardo recovered well to prevent a shot on goal forcing a corner kick.
Before halftime things would go south to the Dynamo. Tyler Deric would pull down Carlos Vela in the 43rd minute resulting in a penalty kick. Vela would step up to the spot and convert despite Deric guessing the correct way.
The two teams would head back to the locker rooms after the whistle blew for halftime. The Dynamo had done well prior to the weather delay. They had absorbed the pressure by LAFC to make things easier on their goalkeeper and they got chances on the counter attack. However, after the weather break they gave up a silly penalty which put the home side right back in the game.
Houston would come out well to start the 2nd half. A poor clearance by LAFC set up Tomás Martínez whose shot was pushed out for a Dynamo corner kick. LAFC had their own opportunity to go up a minute later with Carlos Vela somehow getting through A.J. DeLaGarza, but it was deflected and it slowly rolled to Deric.
LA would find the net in the 52nd minute however following a cross by Carlos Vela. Vela’s cross cut across goal and an unmarked Adama Diomande easily put the ball in the net. 1-2 to LAFC.
The lead in southern California would grow again in the 58th minute. On a Vela corner kick, Walker Zimmerman was able to connect to make the score 1-3. Zimmerman slipped away from his mark, Leonardo, to calmly put the ball in the net first time from the corner kick.
The Dynamo nearly got a goal back a few minutes after Zimmerman’s strike. Nice combination play by Memo Rodríguez and Mauro Manotas set up Manotas on goal, but his shot was deflected by Miller for a corner. In the 65th minute Manotas again nearly pulled one back for the visitors. He somehow got around his defender on a pass back to the keeper and he beat Miller to the ball. He took a dribble around Miller and fired off his shot on an empty net, but it was from a tough angle and went out for a goal kick.
In the 78’ minute Carlos Vela would make the Dynamo suffer again. He played a brilliant ball to Diego Rossi, but Rossi’s first touch was a little heavy and Tyler Deric was able to get to slide in and push the ball away. Vela was there to receive the ball and chip in another goal for LA. Just two minutes later Andrew Wenger would pull one back for the Dynamo. Manotas sent in a ball from the left side of the field and Wenger slid into it to make it 2-4.
The final whistle would blow with LA winning 4 goals to the Dynamo’s 2. Prior to the weather delay the Dynamo had executed their game plan well, but after it LA was clearly in control and took advantage of their chances with Carlos Vela dismantling the Houston back line.
The Dynamo will get a bit of a break and are back in action Sunday, October 21st at 4 PM CT to play their final home game of the season against the Seattle Sounders.
33’ HOU: Mauro Manotas (assisted by Oscar Boniek García, Tomás Martínez)
44’ LAFC: Carlos Vela (PK)
53’ LAFC: Adama Diomande (assisted by Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi)
58’ LAFC: Walker Zimmerman (assisted by Carlos Vela)
78’ LAFC: Carlos Vela
80’ HOU: Andrew Wenger (assisted by Mauro Manotas, Adam Lundqvist)
19’ LAFC: Danilo Silva (yellow card)
35’ LAFC: Lee Nguyen (yellow card)
44’ HOU: Tyler Deric (yellow card)
45’+1’ HOU: Darwin Cerén (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-2-3-1): Tyler Deric; DaMarcus Beasley, Leonardo, Kevin Garcia, A.J. DeLaGarza; Darwin Cerén, Oscar Boniek García (82’ Luis Gil); Adam Lundqvist, Tomás Martínez (85’ Eric Bird), Memo Rodríguez (71’ Andrew Wenger); Mauro Manotas
Los Angeles Football Club (4-3-3): Tyler Miller; Jordan Harvey, Walker Zimmerman, Danilo Silva, Steven Beitashour; Aaron Kovar (90’+1’ Marco Ureña), Lee Nguyen, Benny Feilhaber; Diego Rossi (90’+93’ Joshua Peréz) , Adama Diomande (89’ Christian Ramirez), Carlos Vela