After dedicating their game to the community of Santa Fe, Texas, the Houston Dynamo made sure to end it on an uplifting note, capturing a 3-1 victory over New York City FC on the strength of two second-half goals.
Prior to kickoff, the club observed a moment of silence in honor of the shooting victims and players from both teams joined together to hold a banner which read “United For Santa Fe.” Dynamo fans paid tribute to the 10 victims of the shooting by holding the flashlights on their cell phones aloft in the 10th minute of the match.
On the pitch, New York City took the lead after just six minutes when forward Maxi Morález chipped a cross inside the Dynamo’s box that deflected off a Houston defender and fell to the feet of forward David Villa. The Spanish international’s right-footed volley found the bottom corner of the left post to give the visitors an early 1-0 lead.
The Dynamo equalized in the 21st minute after defender Alejandro Fuenmayor beat NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson at the far post with a header off a free kick from forward Romell Quioto. It was the defender’s second goal of the season and Quioto’s team-best fifth assist of the year.
Coming out of the break, Houston continually ratcheted up the pressure on the visitors, relying on a tenacious defense and a muggy Southeast Texas night to wear down New York. After several dangerous chances early in the half, the eventual game-winner came in the 69th minute when midfielder Boniek García capitalized on a defensive error from New York City. The Honduran international won the ball near the final third and dribbled into the box to create space for midfielder Tomás Martínez, who scored with a left-footed shot from the penalty area, his third goal of the season.
Forward Alberth Elis sealed the victory when he put in a rebound off his header in the 80th minute for his team-high seventh goal of the season. Dynamo Academy alumnus Memo Rodriguez created the opportunity, skipping free down the left flank and lofting a ball to Elis. The Honduran’s initial headed shot forced a brilliant diving save from Johnson, who finished with seven saves on the night, but Elis was the first to react to the rebound and put it in the net.
The Dynamo will hit the road for a pair of games next week, first traveling to Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday, May 30 to face Real Salt Lake, then flying to Quebec to take on the Montreal Impact on June 2.
Houston Dynamo (5-3-3; 18 pts.) 3-1 New York City FC (7-3-3; 24 pts.)
MLS Regular Season Week 13
May 25, 2018 – BBVA Compass Stadium – Houston, Texas
NYC: David Villa 8 (unassisted) 6
HOU: Alejandro Fuenmayor 2 (Romell Quioto 5) 21
HOU: Tomás Martínez 3 (Boniek García 4) 69
HOU: Alberth Elis 7 (unassisted) 80
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; Adolfo Machado, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley ©; Eric Alexander (Juan David Cabezas 68), Tomás Martínez, Boniek García; Alberth Elis, Mauro Manotas (Luis Gil 81), Romell Quioto (Memo Rodriguez 73)
Unused subs: Chris Seitz, Adam Lundkvist, Arturo Alvarez, Jared Watts
Total shots: 21 (Alberth Elis 6); Shots on goal: 10 (Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto 3); Fouls: 12 (Adolfo Machado, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Alberth Elis, Oscar Boniek Garcia and Juan Cabezas 2); Offside: 1 (Mauro Manotas 1); Corner kicks: 7 (Oscar Boniek Garcia 6); Saves: 5 (Joe Willis 5)
New York City FC: Sean Johnson; Sebastien Ibeagha, Alexander Ring, Alexander Callens; Ronald Matarrita (Jesús Medina 72), Ebenezer Ofori, Yangel Herrera (Thomas McNamara 14), Anton Tinnerholm (Ismael Tajouri-Shardi 73); Jo Inge Berget, Maximiliano Morález, David Villa ©
Unused subs: Cédric Hountondji, Brad Suver, Ben Sweat, Rodney Wallace
Total shots: 13 (David Villa 6); Shots on goal: 6 (David Villa 3); Fouls: 9 (Alexander Callens 3); Offside: 3 (Ronald Matarrita, David Villa and Maxi Morález 1); Corner kicks: 2 (Ronald Matarrita, Maxi Morález 1); Saves: 7 (Sean Johnson 7)
HOU: Alejandro Fuenmayor (caution; unsporting behavior) 16
NYC: David Villa (caution; dissent) 36
HOU: Alberth Elis (delaying the restart of play) 80
NYC: Alexander Callens (unsporting behavior) 89
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Bigelow
Assistant Referee 2: Chris Wattam
Fourth Official: Daniel Radford
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez