Saturday night was what fans have spent most of the summer waiting for. The Houston Dynamo got a 4-1 victory over the Portland Timbers. The win was the first in MLS competition for the Dynamo since July 7. The game was also the first game that Juan David Cabezas had played since May 23.
Alejandro Fuenmayor scored the first goal of the game but unfortunately it went in for an own goal. Alvas Powell crossed the ball in after a run down the right side and Fuenmayor put his foot out to block the cross. The move popped the ball up in the air and chipped it over goal keeper Joe Willis’ head and into the net. The own goal gave the Timbers a ninth minute 0-1 lead.
The Dynamo put together several chances for the next ten minutes but were unable to cross the goal line with the ball. Houston earned a corner kick in the 17th minute. The kick eventually went out to Boniek Garcia who sent in a long cross that Steve Clark was able to get a his finger tips on. Larrys Mabiala was able to get the toe of his boot on the ball but his touch sent the ball back towards goal which forced Julio Cascante kick it off the goal line before Alberth Elis could get to the ball.
Zarek Valentin brought down Elis leading to a 31st minute free kick from 35 yards out. Tomas Martinez took the free kick chipping the ball towards the near post to a rushing Elis. Elis got his head on the ball and sent it past Clark for a goal to tie the game 1-1.
Seven minutes later Joe Willis got the ball rolling on a counter attack as he rolled the ball out to Martinez. Making his way down the field he passed the ball forward to Elis. Elis turned on the speed as he ran down the field before crossing the ball to Mauro Manotas in front of goal. Manotas tapped the ball in to give the Dynamo a 2-1 lead.
It looked like Diego Chara leveled things back up a few minutes later after a cross from Diego Valeri but the goal went under video review. After the review it was ruled a no goal because Valeri was offside on the play.
By the time the first half whistle blew the Dynamo had six shots the Timbers weren’t far behind them with four shots. The Timbers had more time with the ball in the first half with 55% of the possession.
In the second half it was once again the Elis to Manotas connection that extended the Dynamo lead. In the 71st minute it was Elis who crossed ball in and it deflected off Clark. The ball fell to Manotas and he volleyed it into the back of the net for a 3-1 lead.
In the 81st minute defender Fuenmayor made up for his earlier own goal by scoring a goal for the Dynamo. Manotas headed the ball towards the net on a set piece but the ball took a deflection. It fell to Fuenmayor who sent the ball through the legs of Clark to put the ball in the net and give the Dynamo a 4-1 victory.
The win was long over due for a team that has struggled this summer. The Timbers had 12 shots in the game but failed to find the net save for the own goal from Fuenmayor. Four of Houston’s 11 shots in the game came from Manotas who found his scoring mojo against the Timbers.
Next Saturday the Dynamo are on the road against Orlando City before returning home for the mid-week US Open Cup final against the Philadelphia Union.