The Houston Dynamo captured three vital points in a 2-1 win over Minnesota United FC tonight at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday night as they continue to push for a spot in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs.
After creating several chances throughout the evening, the Dynamo finally broke through in the 69th minute thanks to the combination of forwards Alberth Elis and Vicente Sánchez. Sanchez worked free down the left flank and whipped in a cross that found Elis at the far post. La Panterita buried his header into the back of the net for his 10th goal of the campaign and then raced to the sideline where he pulled on a Black Panther mask in celebration.
The Dynamo doubled their lead in the 85th minute through forward Romell Quioto, again set up by a service from Sánchez, this time off of a corner kick. The Honduran, who had several dangerous opportunities throughout the match, finished with a powerful header that proved to be the game-winner.
Minnesota pulled a goal back in stoppage time thanks to midfielder Sam Nicholson, who buried a shot in the lower right corner of the net, but the Dynamo successfully killed off the remaining three-plus minutes of stoppage time to come away with the much-needed win.
With the win, Houston now sits on 43 points with an 11-10-10 record, good for fifth in the MLS Western Conference table pending the results of other games this weekend.
In addition to their two goals, Elis and Quioto proved to be Houston’s danger men throughout the contest. In the 22nd minute, Elis played a perfect cross to Quioto, who was open in front of an empty net, but his sliding volley attempt went over the crossbar for a goal kick. In the 36th, Quioto found himself with time at the top of the Minnesota penalty area and uncorked a low left-footed shot that forced a diving save from Loons goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to keep the game scoreless. Elis then used his pace to run in behind the Loons defense and into the box in the 42nd minute, where he slid a pass to Quioto. Quioto settled the cross and fired a shot, but Shuttleworth was able to recover to make the save.
The Dynamo will continue the 2017 season, presented by 76, on Thursday night with the annual BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup against Liga MX club Cruz Azul at 8 p.m. CDT (TICKETS).
The club returns to league play on Wednesday, Oct. 11 as they host Sporting Kansas City at 7 p.m. They then turn around head to Kansas City to play a return leg on Oct. 15 before closing out the regular season at home on Sunday, Oct. 22 against the Chicago Fire at 3 p.m.
Houston Dynamo (11-10-10, 43 pts.) 2-1 Minnesota United FC (9-16-5; 32 pts.)
MLS Week 30
Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 – BBVA Compass Stadium – Houston, Texas
HOU: Alberth Elis 10 (Vicente Sánchez 4) 69
HOU: Romell Quioto 6 (Vicente Sánchez 5) 85
MIN: Sam Nicholson 1 (Francisco Calvo 1) 90+1
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; A.J. DeLaGarza, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, Dylan Remick; Ricardo Clark ©, Eric Alexander (DaMarcus Beasley 73), Alex (Vicente Sánchez 62); Romell Quioto, Mauro Manotas (Andrew Wenger 62), Alberth Elis
Unused Substitutes: Joe Willis, Jalil Anibaba, Tomás Martínez, , Erick Torres
Total shots: 19 (Alberth Elis, Romell Quioto 6); Shots on goal: 7 (Romell Quioto 3); Fouls: 19 (Romell Quioto 5); Offside: 1 (Mauro Manotas 1); Corner kicks: 5 (Vicente Sánchez 3); Saves: 1 (Tyler Deric 1)
Minnesota United FC: Bobby Shuttleworth; Jerome Thiesson, Michael Boxall, Francisco Calvo (C), Marc Burch (Sam Nicholson 83); Ibson, Collin Martin; Ethan Finlay, Kevin Molino (Johan Venegas 71), Miguel Ibarra (Abu Danladi 71); Christian Ramirez
Unused Substitutes: Patrick McLain, Brent Kallman, Jermaine Taylor, Collen Warner
Total shots: 8 (Ethan Finlay, Kevin Molino, Sam Nicholson 2); Shots on goal: 2 (Ethan Finlay, Sam Nicholson 1); Fouls: 11 (Michael Boxall, Francisco Calvo, Abu Danladi 2); Offside: 0; Corner kicks: 3 (Kevin Molino 3); Saves: 5 (Bobby Shuttleworth 5)
MIN: Michael Boxall (caution; foul) 68
HOU: Alberth Elis (caution; celebration) 70
HOU: Romell Quioto (caution; celebration) 85
MIN: Francisco Calvo (caution; foul) 87
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referee 1: Apolinar Mariscal
Assistant Referee 2: Jose da Silva
4th Official: Daniel Radford
VAR: Jorge Ramirez