The Houston Dynamo returned to the win column in emphatic fashion with a 4-1 victory over the Portland Timbers Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston rallied from an early deficit with four unanswered goals behind the exploits of forward Mauro Manotas, who set one club scoring record and tied another.
Manotas scored in the 39th and 71st minutes, setting the club single-season scoring record across all competitions with his 17th and 18th of the year; and the two goals gave him 14 on the year in league play to tie the club record set by Erick Torres last year. Manotas continued his habit of terrorizing the Timbers, as the brace gave him seven goals in his last six appearances against the Timbers in all competitions, and six goals in three starts against Portland in regular-season play.
The Timbers took an early lead through an own goal charged to Houston defender Alejandro Fuenmayor in the ninth minute. Timbers defender Alvas Powell controlled the ball on Houston’s right flank and looked to send in a low cross. Fuenmayor slid to intercept the cross, but the ball deflected off his outstretched foot and into the net.
The Dynamo evened things up with a goal from forward Alberth Elis in the 32nd minute. Elis earned a free kick 25 yards from the goal. Midfielder Tomás Martínez took the free kick and delivered a cross to the right side of the box finding La Pantera. Elis outjumped Portland’s defense and headed the ball toward the near post, where it deflected off the woodwork and into the back of the net. The goal gave Elis 11 on the year, setting a new career high for the young Honduran international.
Seven minutes later, the Dynamo pushed ahead behind Martínez, Elis and Manotas. Martínez had the ball near midfield and played it wide to Elis on the right flank. Elis drove to the byline and crossed the ball to the far post, Manotas who tapped it home with his left foot. It was the Colombian’s 17th goal of the year in all contests (13 in MLS play, 4 in the U.S. Open Cup), putting him past the total of Will Bruin in 2012.
Portland appeared to tie things up just before halftime, but their goal was call back due to an offside violation after video review. In the 44th minute, midfielder Diego Valeri received a pass behind the Dynamo back line, and Valeri and sent a cross to the far post where midfielder Diego Chara tapped it home. Referee Jair Marrufo whistled for a video review; and after review the goal was disallowed as video showed Valeri to be in an offside position when the ball was passed to him.
Manotas continued with his record-breaking night as he scored his 14th league goal of the season in the 71st minute. Elis again initiated the play, firing a hard cross that was deflected by Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark, but the Manotas pounced on the rebound and drove a right-footed volley into the net. The goal tied him with Erick Torres, who scored 14 a year ago, for the most goals by a Dynamo player in league play.
Fuenmayor put things on ice with his third goal of the year in the 81st minute. After forward Romell Quioto won a free kick on the left wing, Martínez played in a high cross to Manotas. The initial ball deflected off of Manotas and a Portland defender, falling to Fuenmayor at the far post. Unmarked, the Venezuelan put his left boot through the ball to redirect it into the net.
The Dynamo will have more match before they host the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. On Saturday, Sept. 22 the team will travel to Florida to face Orlando City SC at Orlando City Stadium at 6:30 p.m. CDT before returning home for the Open Cup Final on Sept. 26 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Houston Dynamo (8-13-7; 31 pts.) 4-1 Portland Timbers (12-8-8; 44 pts.)
MLS Regular Season Week 29
September 15, 2018 – BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
POR: Alejandro Fuenmayor (own goal) 9
HOU: Alberth Elis 11 (Tomás Martínez 7) 32
HOU: Mauro Manotas 13 (Alberth Elis 9, Tomás Martínez 8) 39
HOU: Mauro Manotas 14 (unassisted) 71
HOU: Alejandro Fuenmayor 3 (unassisted) 82
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; Andrew Wenger, Jared Watts (Kevin Garcia 56), Alejandro Fuenmayor, DaMarcus Beasley ©; Boniek García, Tomás Martínez, Eric Alexander (Juan David Cabezas 46); Romell Quioto (Darwin Cerén 82), Mauro Manotas, Alberth Elis
Unused subs: Chris Seitz, Adam Lundkvist, Ronaldo Peña, Memo Rodriguez
Total shots: 11 (Mauro Manotas 4); Shots on goal: 5 (Mauro Manotas 2); Fouls: 13 (Juan David Cabezas 4); Offside: 2 (Boniek García, Mauro Manotas 1); Corner kicks: 3 (Boniek García 2); Saves: 4 (Joe Willis 4)
Portland Timbers: Steve Clark; Alvas Powell, Larrys Mabiala, Julio Cascante, Zarek Valentin (Jorge Villafaña 56); Diego Chara, Lawrence Olum (David Guzmán 83), Cristhian Paredes (Andy Polo 63); Diego Valeri ©, Sebastian Blanco; Jeremy Ebobisse
Unused subs: Kendall McIntosh, Bill Poni Tuiloma, Samuel Armenteros, Lucas Melano
Total shots: 12 (Sebastián Blanco 4); Shots on goal: 4 (Sebastián Blanco, Jeremy Ebobisse, Cristhian Paredes, Andy Polo 1); Fouls: 7 (Diego Chara 2); Offside: 4 (Julio Cascante 2); Corner kicks: 4 (Diego Valeri 4); Saves: 1 (Steve Clark 1)
POR: Zarek Valentin (caution; foul) 31
POR: Jeremy Ebobisse (caution; foul) 34
HOU: Mauro Manotas (caution; simulation) 65
HOU: Alejandro Fuenmayor (caution; foul) 84
POR: David Guzmán (caution; foul) 87
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referee 1: Ian Anderson
Assistant Referee 2: Jeffery Greeson
Fourth Official: Marcos De Oliveira
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic