The Houston Dynamo were back in US Open Cup action this week following their Fourth Round 5-0 win over NTX Rayados June 6th. This time Houston would face off against MLS competition, Minnesota United FC at BBVA Compass Stadium. With a little more time between the next game and with the level of competition being higher Wilmer Cabrera utilized a lineup mixed with starting players and younger players. Although the game was close, the Houston Dynamo would come out ahead 1-0 thanks to a Mauro Manotas headed goal early into the second half.
The opening minutes saw both teams trying to figure each other out with the Loons really keeping their shape which made them difficult to break down when the Dynamo were in possession. Minnesota enjoyed the majority of possession early in the first half and in the 11th minute they nearly broke open the scoring, but the effort sailed over the top of the crossbar.
Darwin Quintero got free down the Dynamo right side of the field a few minutes later and sent in a low ball intended for Christian Ramirez to tap in, but Philippe Senderos did well to shield the striker and the ball went through the box and out for a throw in.
Through the first 20 minutes the game was controlled by Minnesota. Houston struggled to break down a well organized midfield and defense while Minnesota transitioned the ball accurately and quickly to its forwards which created chances.
The Dynamo would try their luck on goal in the 25th minute after winning possession in the middle of the park. Some nice combination play led to a shot from distance by Mauro Manotas, but it would be off the mark and go wide of the back post. Not long after that Memo Rodríguez had a nice run on a counter attack. He tried to pick out Manotas to put him 1v1 with MNUFC goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, but the pass was just too far in front of Manotas and Shuttleworth was able to get to it first. Luis Gil was next to get a chance as he took a good shot off on goal in the 32nd minute from the top of the box, but Shuttleworth was there again to parry it out for a corner kick.
Minnesota would get close to scoring in the 41st minute with Quintero again getting involved. He received the ball near the top of the 18 yard box and easily beat Adam Lundqvist, but his curled cross to Christian Ramirez was off. Houston had another good opportunity that also stayed out of the net. Adam Lundqvist got the ball out wide deep in Minnesota’s final third and rocketed a ball into the 18 yard box. Memo would good to it, but his effort flew over the top of the crossbar.
The two sides would enter their locker rooms tied 0-0 at halftime. Minnesota had looked far more dangerous and controlling for most of the first half, but the Dynamo did start to come alive late and get their own chances while they withstood the threats that Minnesota created.
The Houston Dynamo were quick to find the net in the 2nd half. On an Adam Lundqvist corner kick, Manotas rose up and beat Shuttleworth near post to make it 1-0 to the home side.
The game opened up for both sides following the goal with the Loons looking dangerous every time Quintero was on the ball, but the Dynamo were able to slow him down forcing him to take tough shots, tough passes, and too many dribbles. The Dynamo opened things up on the counter attack which gained more potency with Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto subbing on.
Minnesota came very close to equalizing before the 80th minute as a cross came in to Rasmus Schüller who was open in front of goal. Instead of finding the back of the net though his shot took the ball well wide and was quickly cleared. On the play, Mason Toye and Minnesota fans wanted a penalty as it appeared Toye was pulled down before Schüller missed. However, the center official either didn’t see the play or thought there was nothing there.
The Loons would be awarded a penalty not long after though. Alexi Gómez sent in a ball to the box, but on the play Adam Lundqvist lost track of Miguel Ibarra and took him down and the center referee correctly blew the whistle and pointed to the penalty spot. Darwin Quintero stepped up, but his shot rattled off the upper right post keeping the game 1-0 in Houston’s favor.
In stoppage time the Dynamo would get a 3v2 counter attack with Alberth Elis leading the way. He attempted a self pass to get closer to goal as he tried to get around Brent Kallman, but he was brought down and Kallman was shown a yellow.
The final whistle would sound with the Dynamo up 1-0 over Minnesota United. Minnesota was never out of this one and at times looked far more dangerous, but were just unable to get the ball in the net. The Dynamo meanwhile capitalized on a set piece situation and tried to go up more by bringing on Elis, Quioto, and Tomás Martínez.
It just wasn’t Minnesota’s day as they couldn’t find the net despite plenty of quality chances.
Sometimes it's not your day, Minnesota.— Harrison Hamm (@harrisonhamm21) June 19, 2018
Houston will now go on to the Quarterfinals of the US Open Cup to face Sporting Kansas City on July 18th.
47’ HOU: Mauro Manotas (assisted by Adam Lundqvist)
67’ MIN: Michael Boxall (yellow card)
89’ HOU: Alejandro Fuenmayor (yellow card)
90’ HOU: Chris Seitz (yellow card)
90’+3’ MIN: Brent Kallman (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Chris Seitz; Adam Lundqvist, Philippe Senderos, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Kevin Garcia; Eric Bird, Eric Alexander, Luis Gil; Memo Rodríguez (72’ Romell Quioto), Mauro Manotas (60’ Alberth Elis), Arturo Álvarez (83’ Tomás Martínez)
Minnesota United FC (4-3-3): Bobby Shuttleworth; Carter Manley (62’ Alexi Gómez), Brent Kallman, Michael Boxall, Tyrone Mears, Collin Martin (62’ Frantz Pangop), Rasmus Schüller, Collen Warner; Miguel Ibarra, Christian Ramirez (75’ Mason Toye), Darwin Quintero