Two first-half goals created by the hustle of forward Alberth Elis put the Dynamo out to an early lead, but D.C. United rallied in the second half to escape with a 2-2 draw at Maryland SoccerPlex Saturday afternoon.
The Dynamo struck twice in the span of less than two minutes midway through the first half to take a 2-0 lead into the break. In the 30th minute, D.C. midfielder Yamil Asad tried to head the ball back to goalkeeper David Ousted, but Elis raced into the area and intercepted the ball, flicking the ball over Ousted before tapping it to the bottom of the net.
Shortly after the restart, Elis intercepted another pass attempt, this one a wayward cross-field pass in United’s defensive third, and dribbled the ball into the box. The Honduran international passed the ball across to forward Mauro Manotas in the middle of the box, and Manotas placed the ball in the bottom right corner of the net.
United pulled a goal back shortly after the start of the second half. In the 49th minute, Asad picked up the ball on the left wing and played a ball to forward Darren Mattocks in behind the Dynamo back line. Mattocks cut the ball back to avoid a sliding Dynamo defender and fired a right-footed shot over the shoulder of Dynamo goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
The home side tied it up at the death off of a free kick in the 97th minute. After a foul was whistled 30 yards out on the left touchline, Asad whipped a dangerous free kick into the middle of the area. The initial ball was headed out, but not away, and the second ball fell to United midfielder Luciano Acosta, whose right-footed volley deflected off of an onrushing Seitz and into the net.
Both sides saw dangerous chances just miss in the second half. In the 59th minute, Elis attempted a deft chip from the right corner of the penalty area after Ousted was caught out of the net after losing a footrace with Manotas for a loose ball. Nine minutes later, Elis again found himself in shooting position, but a right-footed shot from the top of the area whistled just over the crossbar.
United pressed hard for the equalizer over the match’s final 15 minutes, creating several dangerous chances, but Seitz and the Dynamo back line were up to the task each time.
The Houston Dynamo have a week off, as next weekend is a FIFA international match window, and will return to the field against the New England Revolution on Saturday, March 31 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. The match will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CDT (TICKETS).
D.C. United (0-1-2; 2 pts.) 2-2 Houston Dynamo (1-1-1, 4 pts.)
March 17, 2018 – Maryland SoccerPlex – Boyds, Maryland
HOU: Alberth Elis 2 (unassisted) 30
HOU: Mauro Manotas 2 (Alberth Elis 3) 31
DC: Darren Mattocks 2 (Yamil Asad 1) 50
DC: Luciano Acosta 1 (Frederic Brilliant 1, Paul Arriola 1) 90+7
D.C. Untied: David Ousted; Nick DeLeon, Frederic Brilliant, Steve Birnbaum ©, Joseph Mora; Zoltán Stieber (Paul Arriola 67), Júnior Moreno (Christopher Durkin 70), Ulises Segura (Patrick Mullins 85), Yamil Asad; Darren Mattocks, Luciano Acosta
Unused subs: Steve Clark, Oniel Fisher, Ian Harkes, Kofi Opare
Total shots: 12 (Steve Birnbaum 3); Shots on goal: 6 (Yamil Asad 2); Fouls: 12 (Luciano Acosta 3); Offside: 1 (Patrick Mullins 1); Corner kicks: 7 (Zoltán Steiber 3); Saves: 1 (David Ousted 1)
Houston Dynamo: Chris Seitz; Kevin Garcia, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley ©; Eric Alexander, Darwin Cerén; Andrew Wenger (Romell Quioto 56), Tomás Martínez (Boniek García 61), Alberth Elis (Arturo Alvarez 74); Mauro Manotas
Unused subs: Joe Willis, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Memo Rodriguez, Mac Steeves
Total shots: 12 (Mauro Manotas 4); Shots on goal: 3 (Alberth Elis, Mauro Manotas, Andrew Wenger 1); Fouls: 16 (Eric Alexander, Mauro Manotas 3); Offside: 0; Corner kicks: 2 (Darwin Cerén, Boniek García 1); Saves: 4 (Chris Seitz 4)
HOU: Eric Alexander (caution; foul) 1
DC: Luciano Acosta (caution; foul) 22
DC: Joseph Mora (caution; foul) 83
Referee: David Gantar
Assistant Referee 1: Phil Briere
Assistant Referee 2: Gianni Facchini
Fourth Official: Sorin Stoica
VAR: Geoff Gamble