The Houston Dynamo got their first back-to-back wins of 2020 this time besting Minnesota United FC. Head Coach Tab Ramos seems to have found a winning game plan as his team was firing on all cylinders from the back to the front with his side scoring 3 times over the Loons who failed to find the score sheet.
In the game’s opening minutes, the Dynamo controlled most of the possession with Minnesota United sitting pretty deep. Houston moved the ball well out of the back to the midfielders, but struggled to create something dangerous. Memo Rodríguez fired a one touch volley after receiving a nice ball over the top, but his shot was straight at Minnesota goalkeeper Greg Ranjistingh.
Minnesota would get their first pair of chances in the 11th minute. Mason Toye won the ball in a favorable position of the field and only had Maynor Figueroa and Kiki Struna in front of him. He took them both on, cut passed Figueroa and as Struna closed his angle, Toye fired a low shot forcing a reaction save by Marko Marić. On the next corner the ball was headed away, but fell to Chase Gasper whose shot went wide.
Houston would get another chance this time coming in the 15th minute. After winning the ball back in the final third, Niko Hansen drew a foul at the top of the 18 yard box setting up a potential Darwin Quintero free kick goal. Quintero stood over and delivered the shot, but it was too high and wide to beat Ranjistingh.
The Dynamo were again knocking on the door, this time in the 26th minute. Adam Lundqvist sent in a cross that went over everyone to Niko Hansen. Hansen played a low ball across the 6 yard box. Memo Rodríguez tried to back heel the ball in, but missed and Quintero’s second chance effort was well off target. Christian Ramirez tried his luck a minute later, but it was saved.
It would be Houston that got the game’s opening goal. After sitting a little deeper after playing a high press, the Dynamo were more successful at winning the midfield. A long ball to Lundqvist set up Memo to attack inside the 18 yard box. A great touch across drew in the defense and he poked the ball wide to Quintero who beat the Minnesota keeper.
The Dynamo continued to find space on the counter as they picked out Memo, Hansen, and Quintero, but they weren’t able to convert again before halftime. Minnesota did well to pounce on some sloppy possession by the Dynamo defenders and midfielders, but couldn’t get a goal back before the end of the half.
A few minutes into the second half set the Dynamo up for a great chance to double their lead. A fantastic long ball found Quintero onside and he continued his run into the box. An outside of the foot pass to Ramirez set up the former Minnesota player, but his shot was saved.
Robin Lod tried to get the Loons back in the game after having a nice run into the Dynamo 18 yard box. Kiki Struna missed a tackle on Lod and Zarek Valentin did well to put just enough of a body on Lod for Marko Marić to claim the ball.
Ariel Lassiter opened his scoring account with Houston in his debut in the 65th minute. Darwin Cerén played Alberth Elis a great long ball over the top. Elis did well to beat his man and play a ball across goal for Ari Lassiter to tap in.
Lassiter notched his second just five minutes later. After a nice give and go with Elis in the middle of the field, Elis played Lassiter a brilliant ball through on goal. Lassiter one touched it at the top of the box and made it 3-0 for Houston.
After 90 minutes the game ended 3-0 and it was another great team performance. The Dynamo managed the game well down the stretch by possessing and keeping Minnesota chasing. A few sloppy passes led to chances for MNUFC, but they also exploited space to counter and create their own chances. This kept Minnesota from sending too many players forward due to the threat of conceding more to the Dynamo forwards. Overall it was a solid from the back to the front and it was a great debut for Lassiter.
Next up for the Dynamo is Sporting Kansas City, this time they’ll play them in Houston next Saturday, September 5th at 7:00 PM CT.
28’ HOU: Darwin Quintero (assisted by Memo Rodríguez)
65’ HOU: Ariel Lassiter (assisted by Alberth Elis, Darwin Cerén).
70’ HOU: Ariel Lassiter (assisted by Alberth Elis)
79’ HOU: Kiki Struna (yellow card)
84’ MIN: Michael Boxall (yellow card)
90’ HOU: Wilfried Zahibo (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundqvist, Maynor Figueroa, Kiki Struna, Zarek Valentin; Memo Rodríguez (82’ Niko Lemoine), Matías Vera (82’ Wilfried Zahibo), Darwin Cerén; Darwin Quintero (74’ Oscar Boniek García), Christian Ramirez (55’ Ariel Lassiter), Niko Hansen (55’ Alberth Elis)
Minnesota United FC (4-1-4-1): Greg Ranjistingh; Chase Gasper, Michael Boxall, Raheem Edwards (60’ Kevin Molino), Romain Métanire; Hassani Dotson; Robin Lod (59’ Ethan Finlay), Jan Gregus (71’ Emanuel Reynoso), Marlon Hairston (72’ Jacori Hayes), Mason Toye (59’ Luis Amarilla); James Musa