It’s been 53 days since the Houston Dynamo players, fans, coaches and organization has been able to celebrate a victory. The last eight games, seven MLS matches and one Leagues Cup match, have all ended in disappointment. Whether it was playing with 10 men and giving up a late winner to NYCFC or getting blown out against a rival in Frisco, this team has been quite embarrassing.
Tonight however, the Davy Arnaud-led Houston Dynamo were anything but. Taking on Minnesota United FC in the Dylan Wolpers Derby on a Wednesday night in front of a sparse crowd seemed to be a recipe for a stinker from the home team. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.
The first half was fairly mundane early on as not much happened. With speedsters such as Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto not playing, the Dynamo played a slower possession game and it was working as Houston had a 55% possession advantage in the first half. With that possession, the orangemen created opportunities including three in the first 21 minutes.
Finally the Dynamo broke through in the 37th with a wonderful goal from Manotas the miracle man. DaMarcus Beasley received an across field pass from Christian Ramirez and put a brilliant cross into the box that went by every Minnesota defender onto the feet of Mauro Manotas who put it into the net.
Just when you thought the Dynamo might stay comfortable, this team did the exact opposite. Once again controlling the ball, the Dynamo added onto their lead just six minutes later with a goal from the former MNUFC striker Christian Ramirez. With his second shot of the game, Superman took a pass from Manotas and tap the ball right over Minnesota keeper Vito Mannone’s hands into the net for the 2-0 lead.
Minnesota came out with some more aggression in the second half. After only taking one shot in the first half, they came out and had a total of four shots on goal in the second. With this aggression we saw Dynamo players such as Boniek Garcia and Juan David Cabezas go down with injury.
Dynamo were able to preserve the shutout with some great defensive plays from Joe Willis as well as the backline. Alejandro Fuenmayor had an absolutely wonderful save in the 81st minute right at goal.
In the 89th minute, it looked as though the shutout was no more as Ethan Finlay took in a pass and fired a goal right passed Willis. However, not so fast my friend, as VAR rescinded the goal due to Finlay being offsides. Dynamo held on through more players in pain on the pitch and eight added minutes to finish the game with a 2-0 shutout win.
This is the team’s 10th win on the season and first since July 20th. This should give the team great momentum before the match against the lowly Vancouver Whitecaps.
37’ HOU: Mauro Manotas (assisted by DeMarcus Beasley)
44’ HOU: Christian Ramirez (assisted by Mauro Manotas)
26’ MIN: Chase Gasper (yellow card)
82’ HOU: Memo Rodriguez (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-2-3-1): Joe Willis; Adam Lundqvist, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Kevin Garcia, DeMarcus Beasley; Matias Vera, Oscar Boniek García (56’ Juan David Cabezas, 76’ Niko Hansen) , Tomas Martinez, Christian Ramirez (61’ Memo Rodriguez), Tommy Mcnamara, Mauro Manotas
Minnesota United FC (4-3-3): Vito Mannone, Romain Metanire, Ike Opara, Michael Boxall, Chase Gasper, Jan Gregus, Osvaldo Alonso, Hassani Dotson (45’ Robin Lod), Ethan Finlay, Toye (45’ Abu Danladi), Thomas Chacon (61’ Angelo Rodriguez)