The winless streak is over for the Houston Dynamo who defeated the visiting Portland Timbers to the tune of 4-1 last Saturday evening. The Dynamo struggled a little out of the gate and conceded an unfortunate own goal, but they kept in it with Alberth Elis and Mauro Manotas leading the way to the first league win for Houston since July 7th.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) While Mauro Manotas put his chances away, it was Alberth Elis who was the most dominant on the pitch. He seemed to show up everywhere to win the ball and he put himself in great spots to get a goal himself along with an assist, but he also fired the shot at Timbers’ goalkeeper Steve Clark which was deflected to Manotas who picked up his brace.
2) The general tactics of the team looked different and more aligned with the style of play we’ve seen from big wins like the opener against Atlanta and the US Open Cup match against Sporting Kansas City. The team was slow out of the gate, but after an unfortunate own goal by Alejandro Fuenmayor (who had a good game otherwise) the team rarely took their foot off the gas with their offense which put a lot of pressure on Portland. Even the game management seemed better from Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera who subbed off Romell Quioto for Darwin Cerén in the 82nd minute to create a more conservative 4-4-2 formation (or occasional 4-3-3 if Tomás Martínez pushed into the attack), but the pressure from the midfield and forwards seldom ceased. As the Timbers needed to throw numbers up the field to try and get a goal back, it opened up space for our players when we won the ball.
3) The Dynamo have been on the wrong end of what seems like an endless amount of poor officiating decisions, and they’ve even been on the wrong side of a VAR call which sent off Tomás Martínez in one game only for his suspension to be lifted. That’s why it’s refreshing when VAR and officiating get it right. There was VAR last Saturday, and the correct call was given and it took almost no time at all. You can watch the decision here.
4) It’s just really refreshing to get three points for the first time since early July. Whew, the streak is over. Oh also to have Juan David Cabezas back who played for 45 minutes plus stoppage time!