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Wilmer Cabrera happy with Dynamo grit in 4-1 win over Timbers

Mauro Manotas brace helps Dynamo fell Timber 4-1.

MIKE KIEL

If it weren’t for bad luck, the Houston Dynamo might not have any luck at all.

Gloom, despair, and agony on me (us)

Deep, dark depression, excessive misery

If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d (We’d) have no luck at all

Gloom, despair, and agony on me (us)

Lyrics made famous by Roy Clark, Buck Jones, Grandpa and others on Hee Haw had seemed to be the Dynamo theme song for the last 10 games, a span of 67 days. They couldn’t buy a win much less manufacture a win going 0-2-8 since the beginning of July.

On Saturday night, that all changed. Celebrating La Naranja Noche, the men in orange parlayed goals by Alberth Elis, Alejandro Fuenmayor and a brace from Mauro Manotas into a 4-1 come-from-behind win over the Portland Timbers.

“The fact that we’ve been working the past two weeks to try to forget what has been happening, what has been happening lately with our results and trying to forget about that situation with the loosing and not closing games and so, we committed to work hard,” said an elated Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera, “We committed, the players committed to work harder and to push. They didn’t promise that we are going to win every game but we are going to battle 100 percent with our effort to give everything and to leave everything on the field.”

A deflection by Alejandro Fuenmayor bounced over the head of Dynamo keeper Joe Willis and Portland led 1-0 in the ninth minute. It was the eighth time an opposition goal had rippled the back of the net in the first 15 minutes of play this season. It was the fourth time since their last win on July 7.

Fuenmayor would make up for it with his third goal of the season in 81st minute for the game’s final tally.

“We sealed the deal on the field even though we started losing where you say ‘Oh my goodness,’” continued Cabrera. “It’s an own goal deflection goes over but the importance is we never lost our shape, we never lost our motivation to fight and to look for the game, and we were able to work on set pieces. We were sharp, that shows the concentration.”

Houston’s luck began to change just at the half hour mark. A free kick found the head of Elis and he put it home to draw the Dynamo level. It was the first home goal for Elis since July 7, 2018. Ironically, it was the last time Houston had won a match until Saturday night.

MIKE KIEL

Seven minutes later Manotas continued his domination over Portland. A left-footed tip by the young Colombian gave the Dynamo the lead 2-1. His 17th goal across all competitions gives him sole possession of the all-time season scoring record passing up Will Bruin. Bruin tallies 16 in 2012.

“Today Mauro is breaking a record for the Houston Dynamo. No player in the Dynamo history has scored more than 18 goals, and he just reached that, with still games to go. So, that shows his talent. That shows his mentality and not only I have to mention Mauro because he’s our top scorer but also when we see the number of goals that (forward) Alberth (Elis) has, the number of goals (FW) Romell (Quioto) and assists that he creates, it’s just encouraging that we have a good team. We have a very talented team offensively, and Mauro is only 22 years old.”

Portland had an opportunity to draw level just before halftime. Chara appeared to have even the game in the 44th minute only to have a VAR review go in favor of Houston for one of the few times in 2018.

Jeremy Ebobisse had the Timbers final chance just moments after Manotas had given Houston a two goal advantage.

The Manotas magic carried into the second half. In the 71st a service into the box caromed off Portland keeper Steve Clark right to Manotas. His half volley from six yards out completed the brace. It was Manotas’ seventh goal in eight games against the Timbers. Seven goals for Manotas in eight games against Portland. Houston has never lost to Portland when Manotas scores at least one goal.

Houston (8-13-7, 31 points) gained a much needed win inching closer to the final playoff berth with six games remaining.