Leonel Miranda’s 24th-minute goal and a stoppage-time score from Ricardo Clark propelled a reserve-laden Houston Dynamo to a 2-0 win Wednesday night over USL’s Austin Aztex to advance to the round of 16 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Miranda’s goal came after a sustained spell of knocking the ball around the box, before Alex played the Argentine loanee into space for the opener. With time winding down, newcomer Mauro Manotas highlighted his Dynamo debut with an assist by playing in Clark, who chipped the ball in to ice the game.
Houston came close with two good chances for Rob Lovejoy before breaking through in the 24th minute. Miranda, making his U.S. Open Cup debut, took a pinpoint through ball from Alex and calmly tucked a finish from 18 yards past Austin goalkeeper Devin Perales for a 1-0 lead.
With the game 1-0 midway through the second half, Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis made a vital save, reading Austin substitute Trevin Caesar’s well-struck shot from 25 yards and parrying the drive off the top of the crossbar with the shot bound instead of the upper corner.
The teams traded chances throughout the second half before Clark sealed the Dynamo win in second-half stoppage time. The Dynamo veteran replaced Alex in the 84th minute to protect the one goal lead and added the insurance goal eight minutes later. Clark collected a pass from 19-year-old Colombian Mauro Manotas and calmly lifted his shot past a charging Perales at the top of the penalty area for the 2-0 advantage.
The Dynamo advance to the Round of 16, set for June 30 or July 1. Houston will learn its opponent and the location of the Round of 16 match in a live draw streamed at ussoccer.com at 10 a.m. CT on Thursday.
Houston Dynamo vs. Austin Aztex
U.S. Open Cup fourth round
June 17, 2015 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Houston Dynamo: Leonel Miranda 1 (Alex 1) 24
Houston Dynamo: Ricardo Clark 1 (Mauro Manotas 1) 90+2
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; Kofi Sarkodie, Raúl Rodríguez, AJ Cochran, Corey Ashe; Leonel Miranda, Zach Steinberger (Alexander López 69), Nathan Sturgis, Alex (Ricardo Clark 84), Rob Lovejoy; Chandler Hoffman (Mauro Manotas 69)
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Taylor Hunter, Luis Garrido, Will Bruin
Austin Aztex: Devin Perales, Michael Ambrose, Lance Rozeboom, Max Gunderson, Fernando Timbo; Guaraci, Greg Mulamba (Mozzi Gyorio 46),Tony Rocha; Kris Tyrpak (Brendan King 70), Sainey Touray (Trevin Caesar 65), Andres Cuero
Substitutes Not Used: Cody Laurendi, Ryan Roushandel, Leone Cruz, Travis Golden
HOU: Corey Ashe (caution) 36
AUS: Fernando Timbo (caution) 59
HOU: Zach Steinberger (caution) 68
AUS: Michael Ambrose (caution) 73
Referee: Luis Guardia
Assistant Referees: Jeff Greeson, Francisco Bermudez
Fourth Official: Mike Arrington