The Houston Dynamo concluded their 2018 campaign in dramatic fashion, rallying from a two-goal halftime deficit to defeat the LA Galaxy 3-2 Sunday afternoon at StubHub Center. The two-goal comeback win was the second of the year for the Dynamo – and the second in club history. They also came from two down to beat San Jose at home on September 29.
The forward trio of Mauro Manotas, Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis keyed the second-half comeback, with Quioto providing Houston’s opening goal in the 57th minute, Manotas bagging a brace in the span of seven minutes, and Elis assisting on the game-winning goal.
Trailing 2-0 coming out of intermission, the Dynamo got on the board just before the hour mark to cut the Galaxy lead in half. In the 57th minute, midfielder Tomás Martínez passed the ball wide to Quioto on the left flank. Quioto dribbled into the penalty area and cut back twice to shake loose of Galaxy defender Rolf Feltscher before tucking a low shot inside the near post.
The Dynamo drew level in the 73rd minute when Manotas converted a penalty kick with a shot to nearly the same spot that Quioto scored. Defender A.J. DeLaGarza drew the penalty after he was kicked in the midsection by Galaxy midfielder Romain Alessandrini as Alessandrini attempted to clear a cross from Dynamo defender Adam Lundkvist. Manotas stepped to the spot and sent LA goalkeeper David Bingham guessing the wrong way before coolly slipping the ball inside the left post.
Seven minutes later it was Manotas with the game-winner for his club-record 19th of the year. Elis collected a pass from Martínez along the right side and sped down the wing before whipping in a low centering ball behind the Galaxy back line. Manotas timed his run perfectly and slid to tap the ball into the net from three yards out for his third brace of the season and sixth career multi-goal game.
With the assist, Elis became the first player in Dynamo history to record double-digit goals (11) and assists (10) in the same season. Martínez was credited with a secondary assist on the goal, giving him 13 on the year, which is the second-highest total in club history.
The Galaxy took the lead just before the 30-minute mark. In the 27th minute, Alessandrini played a short corner kick to midfielder Jonathan dos Santos on the right side of the field. Dos Santos quickly returned the ball to Alessandrini, who sent a cross to the middle of the box where forward Ola Kamara headed the ball into the bottom left corner.
Kamara quickly extended the lead with his second of the day just three minutes later. The play started in the midfield when defender Ashley Cole and Alessandrini connected on a give-and-go. After collecting the ball from Alessandrini, Cole sent a cross from the left side to the center of the box. Kamara came in from behind the defense and connected the ball with his right foot and into the net.
While the front four stole the headlines, Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis turned in a stellar game in between the pipes with five saves, including three spectacular ones, to keep his team in it. In the 20th minute, Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimović tried a right footed shot from close range that forced Willis to get down quickly in order to get his left leg in front of it. Shortly after, midfielder Emmanuel Boateng took a left-footed shot that Willis deflected out for a corner kick.
In the 65th minute with Houston trailing 2-1, Willis came up with a brilliant reaction save as Ibrahimović headed a cross down to Boateng, who blasted a shot from eight yards that took a deflection on the way to goal, but Willis came up with a diving effort to keep the ball out. Ibrahimović had one last chance to equalize in the 90th minute with a low free kick from distance, but Willis was well positioned to collect the low shot.
Each team had a goal waved off for offside late on. Manotas looked to have his second career hat trick when he scored in the 88th minute, but the Colombian was offside when the pass to him was played. In the sixth of nine scheduled minutes of stoppage time, LA appeared to equalize, but Galaxy defender Dave Romney was in an offside position before he headed a cross into the back of the net.
Today’s match concludes the 2018 season for the Houston Dynamo, who finish with a 10-16-8 record. The 2019 season is expected to kick off in early March, although the Dynamo will be back in action in February as they compete in the 2019 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League by virtue of their U.S. Open Cup title.
Los Angeles Galaxy (13-12-9; 35 pts.) 2-3 Houston Dynamo (10-16-8; 38 pts.)
MLS Regular Season Week 35
Sunday, October 28, 2018 – StubHub Center – Carson, California
LA: Ola Kamara 13 (Romain Alessandrini 8, Jonathan dos Santos 8) 27
LA: Ola Kamara 14 (Romain Alessandrini 9, Ashley Cole 10) 30
HOU: Romell Quioto 6 (Tomás Martínez 12) 57
HOU: Mauro Manotas 18 (penalty kick) 73
HOU: Mauro Manotas 19 (Alberth Elis 10) 80
LA Galaxy: David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher (Sheanon Williams 68), Daniel Steres, Dave Romney, Ashley Cole ©; Sebastian Lletget, Jonathan dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng (Giovani dos Santos 76); Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimović
Unused subs: Justin vom Steeg, Servando Carrasco, Baggio Husidic, Perry Kitchen, Jørgen Skjelvik
Total shots: 19 (Emmanuel Boateng, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Ola Kamara 4); Shots on goal: 7 (Emmanuel Boateng, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Ola Kamara 2); Fouls: 11 (Jonathan dos Santos 3); Offside: 5 (Zlatan Ibrahimović 3); Corner kicks: 11 (Romain Alessandrini 10); Saves: 1 (David Bingham 1)
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; A.J. DeLaGarza, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Kevin Garcia (Leonardo 78), DaMarcus Beasley © (Adam Lundkvist 58); Boniek García, Tomás Martínez, Darwin Cerén; Alberth Elis, Mauro Manotas, Romell Quioto (Ronaldo Peña 86)
Unused subs: Michael Nelson, Arturo Alvarez, Eric Bird, Memo Rodriguez
Total shots: 12 (Alberth Elis, Mauro Manotas 4); Shots on goal: 4 (Mauro Manotas 2); Fouls: 11 (Darwin Cerén, Boniek García, Adam Lundkvist 2); Offside: 1 (Mauro Manotas 1); Corner kicks: 4 (Boniek García 3); Saves: 5 (Joe Willis 5)
HOU: Darwin Cerén (caution; foul) 89
HOU: Boniek García (caution; time wasting) 90+5
HOU: Ronaldo Peña (caution; time wasting) 90+8
HOU: Ronaldo Peña (ejection; second yellow; violent conduct) 90+8
Referee: Kevin Scott
Assistant Referee 1: Apolinar Mariscal
Assistant Referee 2: Brian Poeschel
Fourth Official: Guido Gonzales, Jr.
VAR: Drew Fischer