The Houston Dynamo rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the 84th minute to draw level with the LA Galaxy in a 3-3 contest at BBVA Compass Stadium Wednesday evening. Forward Alberth Elis led the furious comeback for the home side with a pair of goals in the last 10 minutes – his eighth and ninth of the season.
Elis’ first goal came in the 84th through a penalty kick. The 21-year-old Honduran ran onto loose ball inside the LA defensive third after forward Vicente Sánchez forced a turnover and dribbled into the penalty area before being dragged down by LA defender Hugo Arellano to earn the penalty. Moments later he stepped up to the spot and calmly placed his spot-kick into the lower left corner of the net.
Four minutes later, with the Dynamo surging forward in wave after wave of attacks, Elis headed home a corner kick from Sánchez to level the match. The goal leveled the match for the first time since the third minute of play and rescued a valuable point for Houston as they continue to push for a playoff spot.
Elis’ first goal of the evening was the team’s 49th of the year, breaking the club single-season scoring record of 48 goals set in 2012. His equalizer put Houston at 50 goals in a season for the first time in club history.
The visitors jumped out to an early lead through a Dynamo own goal in the third minute. Galaxy midfielder Romain Alessandrini played a cross in front of the Dynamo goal and Houston defender DaMarcus Beasley attempted to chest it back to goalkeeper Tyler Deric, but the pass caught Deric off guard and slipped past his outstretched arm into the back of the net.
LA doubled their lead in the 12th minute when defender Ashley Cole intercepted a pass at midfield and raced toward the Dynamo penalty area. He slid a pass through the Dynamo back line to Alessandrini, who fired a left-footed shot past Deric into the net.
The Dynamo pulled a goal back in the 26th minute through midfielder Tomás Martínez, who received a pass from defender A.J. DeLaGarza inside the penalty area, fended off two Galaxy defenders and slipped a left-footed shot past LA goalkeeper Clement Diop into the lower left corner of the net for his first goal with the club.
The three goals highlighted a first half filled with scoring chances on both sides. Martínez’s goal came after Houston created three golden chances in a matter of minutes. In the 18th, forward Romell Quioto dribbled through the LA back line and unleashed a right-footed blast that beat LA goalkeeper Clement Diop but caromed off the left post and away from the goalmouth. Two minutes later, Elis cracked a right-footed shot from 20 yards away but Diop dove to parry it wide for a corner kick. Quioto and forward Erick Torres set up Martínez for a chance in the 25th minute, but the young Argentine’s left-footed shot curled over the crossbar.
Elis nearly tied the game in the 29th minute with a right-footed blast from distance, but the shot whistled just wide of the goal. Martínez found himself unmarked six yards from the goal in the 34th minute on a cross from DeLaGarza, but he snapped his header down and just wide of the left post. A minute later, Elis worked a quick combination with Torres at the top of the penalty area that put the Honduran in alone, but his shot hit the side netting at the near post.
Quioto had an apparent goal waved off in the 37th minute when he was whistled for a foul on LA defender Hugo Arellano before he played the ball into the net. Six minutes later, he worked free inside the area and chipped a cross for his fellow Honduran, but Elis’ header slipped wide of the goal on the right side.
The Galaxy opened up the second half like they started the first – with a quick goal. In the 47th minute, defender Rafael Garcia picked up an errant pass at midfield and played direct to forward Giovani Dos Santos, who slipped a square pass into the path of forward Bradford Jamieson. Jamieson slotted a right-footed shot past Deric for LA’s third goal of the night.
Torres worked himself free behind the LA back line in the 57th minute to get on the end of a cross from midfielder Alex, but his headed effort went just high of the crossbar. Two minutes later, Martínez nearly bagged his brace again, cracking a shot with the outside of his left foot from right of the goal. The shot beat the ‘keeper, but banged off the crossbar.
Houston generated a season-high 27 shots in the match, but only five on goal as they struggled to put the final ball on frame. It was Elis’ final two shots of the match that proved to be the difference, however.
The Dynamo will continue the 2017 season, presented by 76, on Saturday night as they welcome Minnesota United FC at 7:30 p.m. The match will be the club’s annual ‘Noche Naranja’ celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (TICKETS).
Houston Dynamo (10-10-10, 40 pts.) 3-3 LA Galaxy (7-17-7; 28 pts.)
MLS Week 30
Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017 – BBVA Compass Stadium – Houston, Texas
LA: DaMarcus Beasley (OG) 3
LA: Romain Alessandrini 11 (Ashley Cole 2) 12
HOU: Tomás Martínez 1 (A.J. DeLaGarza 3, DaMarcus Beasley 1) 26
LA: Bradford Jamieson 2 (Giovani dos Santos 2, Rafael Garcia 2) 47
HOU: Alberth Elis 8 (penalty) 84
HOU: Alberth Elis 9 (Vicente Sánchez 3) 88
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; A.J. DeLaGarza, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley; Juan David Cabezas (Alex 42), Ricardo Clark ©, Tomás Martínez; Romell Quioto (Mauro Manotas 67), Erick Torres (Vicente Sánchez 65), Alberth Elis
Unused Substitutes: Joe Willis, Jalil Anibaba, Eric Alexander, Andrew Wenger
Total shots: 27 (Alberth Elis 7); Shots on goal: 5 (Alberth Elis 3); Fouls: 11 (Juan David Cabezas 3);Offside: 0; Corner kicks: 14 (Tomás Martínez 7); Saves: 2 (Tyler Deric 2)
LA Galaxy: Clement Diop; Gyasi Zardes, Hugo Arellano, Dave Romney, Ashley Cole; Bradford Jamieson, Jermaine Jones ©, Rafael Garcia, Romain Alessandrini (Emmanuel Boateng 90+4); Jonathan Dos Santos (Ariel Lassiter 90+4), Giovani Dos Santos (Jack McBean 79)
Unused Substitutes: Brian Rowe, Michael Ciani, Jack McInerney, Nathan Smith
Total shots: 8 (Romain Alessandrini 4); Shots on goal: 4 (Romain Alessandrini 3); Fouls: 13 (Romain Alessandrini 4); Offside: 1 (Giovani dos Santos 1); Corner kicks: 0; Saves: 2 (Clement Diop 2)
HOU: Juan David Cabezas (caution; foul) 24
LA: Hugo Arellano (caution; foul) 31
LA: Clement Diop (caution; time wasting) 57
HOU: Tomás Martínez (caution; dissent) 61
LA: Jonathan dos Santos (caution; dissent) 61
LA: Giovani dos Santos (caution; dissent) 71
LA: Jermaine Jones (caution; foul) 90+1
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referee 1: Adam Wienckowski
Assistant Referee 2: Logan Brown
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: Dave Gantar