The Houston Dynamo scored early and late against Los Angeles FC Friday night, but four LAFC goals after a lengthy weather delay proved the difference as the Dynamo fell 4-2 at a rainy Banc of California Stadium.
The Dynamo drew first blood when forward Mauro Manotas finished off a Dynamo counterattack with a tap-in goal in the 33rd minute for his team-leading 16th of the year. The scoring move started along Houston’s left flank as defender Adam Lundkvist played a ball to Manotas in behind the LAFC back line. Manotas skipped through two defenders and looked to have a shot, but an LA defender slid in at the last moment. Houston quickly recovered possession and cycled the ball through midfielders Tomás Martínez and Boniek García, who drew the goalkeeper out of the net before slipping a ball to Manotas in front of an empty net.
Two minutes after Manotas’ goal, play was halted in the 36th minute due to lightning in the area around Banc of California Stadium. The match resumed after a 103-minute delay at 9:28 p.m. PDT.
LAFC tied things up through a penalty kick from forward Carlos Vela. Vela drew the penalty when Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric brought him down inside the penalty area after midfielder Lee Nguyen slipped the Mexican international in behind the Houston defense. Deric received a yellow card for the foul and nearly stopped the penalty, guessing correctly and diving to his left to get a finger on it, but he was unable to keep it out of the net.
The hosts took the lead in the 53rd minute when forward Adama Diomande scored from close range off of a low centering pass from Vela. The play started when forward Diego Rossi collected the ball at the top of the penalty area on the left wing and passed to Vela in the corner, where the LAFC captain whipped in a low centering pass. Five minutes later LAFC defender Walker Zimmerman made it 3-1 when he scored with a left-footed volley off of a Vela corner kick.
Manotas had a pair of great looks on goal just after the hour mark. In the 64th minute he worked a nifty combination with midfielder Memo Rodriguez and fired a low shot aimed at the near post, but LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller got down just in time to parry it out for a corner kick. Two minute later, Manotas beat Miller to a loose ball and skipped around the keeper, but was unable to put his shot on target from a very sharp angle.
LAFC added a fourth in the 79th minute, with Vela again playing an integral role. He picked up the ball along Houston’s right side and drove along the touchline before finding Rossi at the top of the area. Deric was quick off his line to deny Rossi’s effort, but the rebound rolled to Vela, who chipped it into an empty net.
A minute later, Houston pulled a goal back as Manotas raced down the left flank onto an outlet from Lundkvist and found defender Andrew Wenger, a second-half substitute, with a centering ball at the penalty spot. Wenger slid to put his right boot on it and redirected the ball inside the back post.
Deric, making his season debut with the first team, made his first save of the year in the 22nd minute when he dove to collect a headed shot from LAFC defender Walker Zimmerman off of a free kick. He finished with four saves on the night in his first game action of the year.
Next up for the Dynamo, they return home to BBVA Compass Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 21 for their 2018 regular-season home finale against the Sounders in a match that will kick off at 4 p.m. CDT before closing out the season on Sunday, Oct. 28 at the LA Galaxy.
Los Angeles FC (16-8-8; 56 pts.) 4-2 Houston Dynamo (9-15-8; 35 pts.)
MLS Regular Season Week 33
Friday, October 12, 2018 – Banc of California Stadium – Los Angeles, California
HOU: Mauro Manotas 16 (Boniek García 6, Tomás Martínez 11) 33
LAFC: Carlos Vela 12 (penalty) 44
LAFC: Adama Diomande 12 (Carlos Vela 11, Diego Rossi 9) 53
LAFC: Walker Zimmerman 4 (Carlos Vela 12) 58
LAFC: Carlos Vela 13 (unassisted) 79
HOU: Andrew Wenger 2 (Mauro Manotas 1, Adam Lundkvist 1) 80
Los Angeles FC: Tyler Miller; Jordan Harvey, Danilo Silva, Walker Zimmerman, Steven Beitashour; Aaron Kovar (Marco Ureña 90+1), Lee Nguyen, Benny Feilhaber; Diego Rossi (Joshua Pérez 90+2), Adama Diomande (Christian Ramirez 89), Carlos Vela ©
Unused Substitutes: Charlie Lyon, Dejan Jakovic, Calum Mallace, João Moutinho
Total shots: 16 (Diego Rossi, Carlos Vela 4); Shots on goal: 8 (Carlos Vela 3); Fouls: 13 (Aaron Kovar 3); Offside: 1 (Carlos Vela 1); Corner kicks: 3 (Aaron Kovar, Lee Nguyen, Carlos Vela 1); Saves: 3 (Tyler Miller 3)
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; DaMarcus Beasley ©, Kevin Garcia, Leonardo, A.J. DeLaGarza; Darwin Cerén, Boniek García (Luis Gil 82); Adam Lundkvist, Tomás Martínez (Eric Bird 85), Memo Rodriguez (Andrew Wenger 71); Mauro Manotas
Unused Substitutes: Chris Seitz, Conor Donovan
Total shots: 9 (Mauro Manotas 4); Shots on goal: 5 (Mauro Manotas 3); Fouls: 13 (A.J. DeLaGarza 4); Offside: 0; Corner kicks: 2 (Tomás Martínez 2); Saves: 4 (Tyler Deric 4)
LAFC: Danilo Silva (caution; foul) 19
LAFC: Lee Nguyen (caution; foul) 35
HOU: Tyler Deric (caution; foul) 44
HOU: Darwin Cerén (caution; foul) 45+1
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referee 1: Frank Anderson
Assistant Referee 2: TJ Zablocky
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo
VAR: Kevin Stott