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Houston Dynamo come close but fall on the road to LAFC

After going down a pair of goals, the Dynamo fought hard to get back in it, but ultimately didn’t have enough to equalize and drop points to LAFC

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Los Angeles FC Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo needed a win, but came up short against LAFC in a midweek matchup. The Dynamo, on the road, fell behind early despite some promising play and battled back into the game but were unable to snatch even a draw.

The Dynamo nearly capitalized early in the game with LAFC pressing high. Houston worked the ball from the back to the front brilliantly and found Memo Rodríguez in the center of the field. Memo got his head up and put the ball in front of Darwin Quintero who expertly picked out Mauro Manotas right in front of goal, but the ball went wide. Manotas would get flagged for being offside, but it was a positive sequence on the road early on.

Despite a strong early showing, the pressure of LAFC helped them get the game’s opening goal. A turnover in midfield led to José Cifuentes helping a pass onto Mohamed El-Munir in the 18 yard box. El-Munir, unmarked, played a ball across goal to Diego Rossi to tap it in.

In the 12th minute the Dynamo came very close to equalizing. Quintero played a ball from the wing towards the middle of the box and Manotas stopped the ball and turned to shoot. LAFC goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer was quick to make a play on it to keep their lead.

The Dynamo continued to press and combine in LA’s half, often winning balls in good spaces and quickly transitioning to offense, but were unable to equalize. LA were able to pick their moments well and look dangerous going forward.

LAFC doubled their lead in the 22nd minute. Following a corner kick, Jesús David Murillo settled the ball and played it over to Eddie Segura. Segura shot the ball one time and played the ball into the net far post.

Houston almost got back in the game thanks to a great play by Memo Rodríguez. Memo got the ball and took a strike inside the box, but it hit the post. The center official would take a look at VAR after the shot looked like it hit the arm of LAFC defender Segura. After a quick glance at the monitor he pointed to the spot to award the Dynamo a penalty. Mauro Manotas stepped up and was unable to get his team back in the game. He gave up on the penalty even after Vermeer spilled it – looking defeated in the process.

LA nearly added to their tally before halftime with Brian Rodríguez getting behind the Dynamo defense going 1v1 with Marko Marić. Rodríguez tried to play the ball around Marić – or as suggested by Dynamo commenter Eddie Robinson – to someone, but a Houston center back was able to put the ball out of play.

The second half opened up beautifully for Houston with halftime substitute Ari Lassiter getting a goal back for the visitors. Manotas played a ball onto Quintero. Quintero somehow got the ball into the trailing run of Lassiter who found the back of the net.

It looked like LAFC had gotten another goal soon after Lassiter’s. LA capitalized on a counter attack and looked to find Diego Rossi for his second, but after a check with VAR the center official ruled the goal offside.

Following the second yellow card and sending off of Matías Vera, the Dynamo were forced to sit deeper which allowed LAFC to increase their possession especially in Houston’s half of the field. The Dynamo did do well to win the ball and find their own chances, but struggled to increase the number of opportunities to equalize.

LA nearly added to their lead again on the counter. LAFC had a 2v1 against José Bizama. Bizama did well to not bite on either defender’s run and Carlos Vela tried his luck against Marko Marić, but Marić made a great save to keep the score at 2-1.

It looked like Houston was given a lifeline shortly after the 85th minute when Bizama went down and the referee signaled for a penalty in the Dynamo’s favor. After review Latif Blessing did not make contact with Bizama and the subsequent call was ruled as an offside play.

After 90 minutes, the game would end 2-1 in favor of LAFC. The Dynamo started strong, but gave the home side chances which they capitalized on. The Dynamo responded well, but weren’t as clinical at getting goals back exemplified by Manotas’s poor penalty.

Next up for the Dynamo is a Halloween derby with FC Dallas this Saturday October 31st at 2:30 PM CT.

Goals:

9’ LAFC: Diego Rossi (assisted by Mohamed El-Munir)

22’ LAFC: Eddie Segura (assisted by Jesús David Murillo)

46’ HOU: Ariel Lassiter (assisted by Darwin Quintero, Mauro Manotas)

Disciplinary:

32’ LAFC: Eddie Segura (yellow card)

33’ HOU: Matías Vera (yellow card)

59’ HOU: Matías Vera (second yellow card/red)

72’ HOU: Darwin Quintero (yellow card)

84’ LAFC: José Cifuentes (yellow card)

85’ LAFC: Latif Blessing (yellow card)

90’ HOU: Oscar Boniek García (yellow card)

Lineups:

Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Zarek Valentin, Víctor Cabrera , Maynor Figueroa, José Bizama; Memo Rodríguez (HT Ariel Lassiter), Matías Vera, Darwin Cerén; Darwin Quintero, Mauro Manotas (63’ Oscar Boniek García), Niko Hansen (69’ Nico Lemoine)

LAFC (4-3-3): Kenneth Vermeer; Diego Palacios, Eddie Segura (61’ Tristan Blackmon), Jesús David Murillo, Mohamed El-Munir; José Cifuentes, Eduard Atuesta, Francisco Ginella (61’ Latif Blessing); Diego Rossi, Danny Musovski (HT Bradley Wright-Phillips), Brian Rodríguez (60’ Carlos Vela)