The Houston Dynamo raced out to a three-goal lead at BMO Field and cruised to a 3-1 win at Toronto FC this evening, improving their record to 9-9-3 on the season and picking up their second road victory of the year.
The Dynamo opened the scoring just minutes into the game when midfielder Memo Rodriguez slipped a quick pass through three Toronto FC defenders connecting with midfielder Tommy McNamara at the top of the 18-yard box in the fourth minute. McNamara used a deft first touch to get the ball past Toronto defender Justin Morrow and fire a left-footed shot into the lower right corner for his second goal of the year.
Four minutes later, Toronto had their first shot on goal as they worked the ball down the right side of the field. Toronto forward Tsubasa Endoh lifted a high cross into the penalty area, connecting with midfielder Nick DeLeon, whose header went just over the crossbar. Toronto had two other chances in the first half but failed to score on either attempt.
The Dynamo doubled their lead in the 23rd minute when they were able to press forward with sharp connecting passes along the left wing. Defender Adam Lundkvist passed the ball through traffic to forward Mauro Manotas. Manotas spun on the ball and used his left foot to slot a pass through two Toronto defenders to find midfielder Tomás Martínez. Martinez took two touches to move the ball forward and made a quick left-footed shot in the middle of the goal past Toronto goalie Quentin Westberg. The goal was Martínez’s fourth of the year and would prove to be his second game-winning goal of the season.
Toronto FC came out strong to start the second half after bringing on forward Jozy Altidore and midfielder Jacob Shaffelburg. Altidore made quick work of his time of the field when he settled a cross inside the box in the 50th minute. Altidore worked free for a shot, but hit it straight off the chest of Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric. The U.S. international regained control of the ball, but his second shot was once again blocked.
Against the run of play, the Dynamo were able to find a small break when McNamara intercepted a pass just outside of Houston’s penalty area and sent a long ball up front to Manotas. The Colombian weaved through the Toronto defense, beating five defenders single-handedly, before firing a shot past Westberg from near the penalty spot for Houston’s third goal of the game.
Altidore was awarded a penalty in the 70th minute, but was unable to capitalize when he fired the ball over the top of the net. Dynamo defender Maynor Figuroa blocked a Toronto shot in the 73rd minute with an incredible individual effort after Deric came off his line to stop a shot from Shaffelburg. The shot went past Deric, but Figueroa slid into the goal box blocking the shot from entering the net.
Toronto finally got on the board in the 75th minute when Altidore headed in a ball that bounced off the toe of a Dynamo defender and over Deric before settling into the back of the net.
Houston returns home on Wednesday, July 24 for the BBVA Classic against Club América to kick off the inaugural Leagues Cup tournament. That match is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. CDT kickoff, with tickets starting at $20.