The Houston Dynamo complete the comeback as they beat the Montreal Impact at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Dynamo fans be excited. The boys in orange are off to a good start this season. A draw against Real Salt Lake last Saturday was followed by a victory last night. While the CONCACAF Champions League needs focus, four points in league play isn’t a bad way to start either. The win gives Houston their first victory of the season and man does it have to feel good.
The first 30 minutes of the game were relatively slow. However, in the 34th minute, Saphir Taider started things off for the Impact. Unfortunately for Montreal, Memo Rodriguez didn’t get the memo when he tied things up in minute 36.
For most of the second half, both teams played it safe. Many passes in the midfield, tough defensive lines that went unbroken, and lack of life in the attacking third. Things started to get lively once Houston subbed off Marlon Hairston and brought on Alberth Elis in the 57th minute. In fact, all three Dynamo substitutions came in the midfield. Romell Quioto came in for Rodriguez in the 65th minute, and Tomas Martinez came off for newcomer Tommy McNamara in the 74th minute.
While Martinez was quiet all afternoon, Quioto and Elis provided the spark needed to win. Both guys moved with energy across the midfield and final third to create plenty of chances. At times, Elis dropped in defensively to help his teammates. Energy is the key word here, especially when talking about Quioto. In the final 20 minutes, Quito created great space for his teammates while his crosses were dangerous at all times.
Finally, in the 86th minute, Adam Lundqvist crossed it in and had it deflected. However, McNamara headed the ball back out to find Quioto waiting. It was his cross that found Mauro Manotas’s leg that led to the game winning goal.
Overall it was a defensive match with moments of magic from the Dynamo midfield. On the Impact’s end, it just wasn’t there today. Despite being a terror in front of goal, Nacho Piatti was nowhere to be found. Often times, Taider found himself alone on the wing. However, after his goal, he failed to create anything else.
Montreal’s biggest problem this season is their depth or lack thereof. Anthony Jackson-Hamel is listed as the reserve forward. However, his performance on the ball today was awful. Too many balls given up led to no chances. A product of the Montreal Academy, Jackson-Hamel has a lot of work ahead of him. Outside of Piatti, the Impact have virtually no attack. Where the goals will come from is the something they have to figure out.
Let’s take a look at the man of the match this afternoon.
Man of the match
There are several candidates for man of the match today. There is Manotas for the game winner. Perhaps it is Quioto for his lively wing play? Or maybe it is Elis for his spark in the attack. All three are certainly worthy of the honor. However, today’s man of the match comes from the back line.
Congrats to Dynamo defender Maynor Figueroa for his outstanding work today. While he didn’t score, Figueroa was all over the field. He held the back line together, won the ball on the ground and in the air, as well as secure the ball and not turn it over.
He has been a fine addition to the team since arriving in the off-season.
Up next for Houston
This week will be a busy one for the Dynamo. First up, the CCL clash with Tigres. Currently, the Dynamo are down 2-0 on aggregate. It will be tough considering both goals for Tigres came on the road. Houston will have to score at least three goals and not concede to advance to the semi-finals. The second leg will be on March 12th in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, at 10 pm central time.
Following that match in Mexico, the Dynamo return home on the 16th to face the Vancouver Whitecaps. This match will conclude a three game stretch at home to begin the season. Two games in, four points later, and the Dynamo start off third in the Western Conference. Hopefully, this team remains healthy and plays as well as they have to start.
Get ready Dynamo fans. It looks like a great season is ahead of us in Houston. For the latest on the Houston Dynamo and other MLS topics, stay tuned to NGSC Sports all season long.
Until next time, Orange Nation.
Hardworking, loyal, and passionate. I love the people that surround me because they allow me to be who I am. A lover of sports, video games, and life itself. I am a son, a brother, an uncle, and a person who holds nothing but love in his heart. I do this for Rosa Maria Magana and Edward Magana. A.k.a my folks in heaven. Music and sports keep me alive and well.