Alex's second goal for the Houston Dynamo cam at just the right time, scorin a 77th minute winner to clinch a 2-1 win over a 10-man San Jose Earthquakes.
Alex’s goal came at an opportune time as it pulled Houston back ahead in a must-win game. After the returning Boniek García played newcomer Sheanon Williams down the right flank, Alex charged down the middle of the field and punched home the game winner in the 77th minute.
With the win Houston (8-8-7, 31 pts.) are undefeated in their last three games and creep closer to the playoff picture. San Jose (7-10-5, 26 pts.) remain second from bottom in the Western Conference.
DaMarcus Beasley opened his Dynamo account tonight as he started the second half scoring. Beasley begged for the ball with acres of space before tallying his goal and Giles Barnes finally obliged. Barnes played a long through-ball into space from just across the midfield line. The left back picked the ball up and cut through two defenders then slotted his first goal for the Dynamo home to give them the lead in the 55th minute.
San Jose went down to 10 men when Fatai Alashe was shown the door in the 60th minute. Alashe, who saw yellow late in the first half for a reckless challenge on Luis Garrido, was beaten by Barnes and pulled the attacker back. It was enough for his second caution and an early shower according to referee Fotis Bazakos.
Houston's lead did not stand for long. While down a man, San Jose took advantage of a poor defensive play by the Dynamo to even the score at 1-1 in the 70th minute. On a redirected ball, Sanna Nyassi headed forward a high hopeful ball from just inside the box. Houston’s defense stepped up and Quincy Amarikwa snuck in behind and was able to chest the ball into the net after goalkeeper Joe Willis, who stepped in for the injured Tyler Deric, misplayed the ball.
The first half was rough and tumble, with Will Bruin and Brad Davis both coming within a whisker of opening the scoring. In a role reversal it was Bruin pushing up the sideline in the 29th minute to play in a streaking Davis but his sliding attempt was wide of the far post.
It was the best chance in an opening 30 minutes that saw a lot of physical play along with a load of energy from two sides that needed a win. Davis’ shot woke up Houston’s attack as they pushed into the box with two more attacks on goal in the following minutes.
San Jose matched Houston’s energy step for step with Amarikwa providing a spark.
In the 39th minute Chris Wondolowski came close to opening the scoring. Shea Salinas played the forward between the Dynamo center backs and through on goal for a clean shot but Willis deflected the shot away. In the 44th minute Wondolowski looked to score the opener but Salinas was flagged for offside negating his goal to keep the affair scoreless at halftime.
San Jose will return home to host the Colorado Rapids next week while Houston travels to face the New England Revolution.
Houston Dynamo (8-7-8; 25 points) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (7-5-9; 21 points)
MLS Regular Season
August 8, 2015 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Houston Dynamo: DaMarcus Beasley 1 (Giles Barnes 2) 55
San Jose Earthquakes: Quincy Amarikwa 6 (Sanna Nyassi 3) 70
Houston Dynamo: Alex 2 (Sheanon Williams 3, Boniek García 4) 77
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; Sheanon Williams, David Horst, Raúl Rodríguez, DaMarcus Beasley; Luis Garrido, Leonel Miranda (Boniek García 56), Alex Lima (Rasheed Olabiyi 85), Brad Davis ©, Giles Barnes; Will Bruin (Erick Torres 78)
Substitutes Not Used: Michael Lisch, Mauro Manotas, Kofi Sarkodie, Alexander López
San Jose Earthquakes: David Bingham; Marvell Wynne (Sanna Nyassi 69), Victor Bernárdez, Jordan Stewart, Shaun Francis; Fatai Alashe, Cordell Cato, Chris Wondolowski ©, Marc Pelosi (JJ Koval 62), Shea Salinas (Tommy Thompson 69); Quincy Amarikwa
Substitutes Not Used: Bryan Meridith, Mark Sherrod, Leandro Barrera, Adam Jahn
SJ: Victor Bernárdez (caution) 28
SJ: Marc Pelosi (caution) 34
SJ: Fatai Alashe (caution) 43
SJ: Fatai Alashe (ejection) 60
HOU: Raúl Rodríguez (caution) 71
SJ: Sanna Nyassi (caution) 82
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: Adam Garner, Brian Poeschel
Fourth Official: Ricardo Salazar