The Houston Dynamo earned their third consecutive victory with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City this evening at BBVA Stadium. Goals from Alberth Elis and Mauro Manotas in the final half-hour propelled the Dynamo to the victory.
Kickoff was delayed by 12 minutes due to lightning in the area around BBVA Stadium and a light mist began to fall right at the opening whistle. With the teams squaring off for the third time this season and second time in 10 days, it was a cagey affair early on. Both teams were well aware of the other side’s intentions and appeared determined not to give an inch, leaving chances hard to come by during the first half-hour.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 30th minute when forward Erik Hurtado put a rebound back into the net from close range. Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Marić made a strong save on Sporting’s initial effort from forward Khiry Shelton, quickly getting down to get a foot to Shelton’s shot, but the deflection fell into the path of Hurtado, who tapped it home on the half volley.
Houston leveled the match at a goal apiece just ahead of the hour mark through Elis. The Honduras international, who had entered the match just one minute earlier, slipped into the box and stabbed home a centering pass from midfielder Darwin Cerén. Cerén received a chip from forward Darwin Quintero on the right edge of the six-yard box and pulled the ball back into the middle, finding Elis for a first-time finish.
Manotas completed the comeback when he delivered the late winner with a headed shot into the back of the net in the 85th minute. After coming on as a substitute five minutes earlier, he found a soft spot in Sporting’s defense and leaped to get on the end of an inch-perfect cross from defender Zarek Valentin and snap a header past a diving effort by goalkeeper Tim Melia and into the net.
The goal was Manotas’ 50th in league play for the Dynamo, tying him with Will Bruin for second in club history behind Brian Ching’s record of 56. Elis, meanwhile, has now recorded a goal or an assist in five of his six appearances this year, while Cerén recorded an assist for the third consecutive match.
Prior to kickoff, Houston’s Starting XI paid a special tribute to 11 courageous children and teens battling cancer as they took the field wearing jerseys that had the children’s names on them, rather than their own, as part of Major League Soccer’s Kick Childhood Cancer initiative. All 11 children are patients at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Club’s jersey partner, and official cancer research and treatment center.
After playing three games in eight days, things don’t let up for the Dynamo as they head north to take on the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday night. That match is scheduled for an 8 p.m. CDT kickoff from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The match will be televised live throughout the Greater Houston area on QuestTEXAS Ch. 55 in English and on TelExitos Ch. 47 in Spanish. Fans can hear it over the radio in Spanish on Univision Radio 1010AM.