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Houston Dynamo end three game losing streak with 3-1 win at Toronto

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The Dynamo looked sharp in the first half and were able to defend their lead well in the second

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Toronto FC Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo were on a three game losing streak and are coming off a tough 5-0 loss on the road to Atlanta United FC. They hoped to turn things around with a stronger starting XI at BMO Field when they took on Toronto FC and it worked. The Dynamo were able to get three points in a difficult place after their 3-1 win.

The game started off with both sides looking like they’ve played a lot of games in a short amount of time – which was true – but it would be Houston that surprised the home side early. Memo Rodríguez played Tommy McNamara a beautiful through pass and McNamara took a touch and slotted the ball into the far post net to make it 1-0 to the Dynamo. Toronto tried to respond a few minutes later with Nick DeLeon chipping a ball to Patrick Mullins, but the header was over the top of goal.

Houston would try their luck again around the 10th minute on the counter attack. Nice combination play between Mauro Manotas and Tommy Mac led to a strike by Manotas which was low and forced a difficult save by TFC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg.

After Houston’s opener it looked like the Dynamo had sat a little deeper which allowed Toronto to increase their possession and chances in Houston’s half of the field. However, Toronto had opted to rest many of their key players which led to many of those chances failing to test Tyler Deric.

In the 23rd minute the Dynamo would double their lead. Great combination in the midfield saw Adam Lundqvist with possession of the ball on the left side of the field. He played a ball into the middle which Mauro Manotas somehow played it to Tomás Martínez who easily beat Westberg from close range. 2-0 Houston.

It was almost 3-0 not long after that. The Dynamo were able to win the ball in their half and sprung the counter attack. Mauro Manotas was loose with a lot of space between him and the goal. Instead of taking it on himself, he pulled the ball across goal to set up Memo Rodríguez for a one-touch finish, but it was saved brilliantly by Westberg.

The Dynamo would go into the locker room for halftime up 2-0. It wasn’t a perfect half with the Dynamo sitting back at times allowing some chances by the home side, but none of those opportunities ever looked threatening. Instead, Houston, who also showed a lack of energy at times, strategically turned it on at the right times and were able to finish their chances and were unlucky to not be up by more than two.

Toronto FC came out of halftime by bringing on Jacob Shaffelburg and Jozy Altidore and the two immediately had an impact on the game. The two were involved early before the 50th minute which saw Tyler Deric make a few great saves as the ball bounced around the 18 yard box and kept going back to a Toronto player.

The Dynamo would dodge another one before the 55th minute with Shaffelburg and Altidore again being involved. Altidore tapped a ball to Shaffelburg who went right at goal and nearly found the corner of the goal, but the effort was just off.

While it had been all TFC early into the second half, Manotas put on an incredible display to make it 3-0. After receiving the ball in Toronto’s half by himself, he looked up to see where the help was coming from. After seeing he was alone on an island, he took the defense on himself to make it 3-0.

In the 73rd minute it looked like Toronto had finally beaten Deric. The ball swung in from our left side of the field and fell to a TFC player who chested it down to himself and tried his luck. He had Deric beaten, but Maynor Figueroa was there to clear it off the line. The Dynamo had a counter of their own which saw Quioto take a shot one time aimed at the far post, but he couldn’t find the net.

Toronto would finally get on the board though in 75th. They had been knocking on the door all half, and it would be Jozy Altidore who finally opened it. A cross was sent in and Matías Vera got a touch and tried to clear it. However it was near Altidore who rose up to head it passed Deric.

It looked like Toronto had gotten closer to equalizing in the 82nd minute after a free kick opportunity. Michael Bradley took it and Laurent Ciman headed it passed Deric, but the flag for offside came up and helped give the Dynamo some breathing room.

The final whistle would blow and the Dynamo ended their three game skid with a 3-1 win on the road. The first half was a mostly dominant showing while the second half saw the team retreat a bit. The substitutes by TFC put pressure on the Dynamo, but they were only able to get one goal back into our three goal lead. It was far from perfect tactics in the second half, but great defending and a nice cushion of a lead absolutely were the difference.

Next up is Club América at BBVA Stadium Wednesday July 24th at 7:30 PM CT in the Leagues Cup. The next league game is the follow Saturday July 27th at 7:00 PM CT at BBVA Stadium.

Goals:

4’ HOU: Tommy McNamara (assisted by Memo Rodríguez)

23’ HOU: Tomás Martínez (assisted by Mauro Manotas, Adam Lundqvist)

57’ HOU: Mauro Manotas (assisted by Tommy McNamara)

79’ TFC: Jozy Altidore

Disciplinary:

None

Lineups:

Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Tyler Deric; Adam Lundqvist, Maynor Figueroa, Kiki Struna, A.J. DeLaGarza (59’ Kevin Garcia); Oscar Boniek García, Tomás Martínez, Matías Vera; Tommy McNamara, Mauro Manotas (79’ Juan David Cabezas), Memo Rodríguez (67’ Romell Quioto)

Toronto FC (4-4-2): Quentin Westberg; Justin Morrow, Laurent Ciman, Eriq Zavaleta, Auro; Jay Chapman (HT Jacob Shaffelburg), Jonathan Osorio, Liam Fraser, Nick DeLeon (58’ Michael Bradley); Patrick Mullins (HT Jozy Altidore), Tsubasa Endoh