The Houston Dynamo remained unbeaten to start the season with a 3-2 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC Saturday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium. Forward Memo Rodriguez scored the first and third goals for Houston to record the first brace of his career, while forward Alberth Elis pitched in a pair of assists and won and converted a penalty for Houston’s second goal.
Houston took the lead in the 15th minute after Elis won the ball from Vancouver defender Derek Cornelius at the end line. Elis sprinted to the near post and found Rodriguez unmarked in front of goal to tap in the first goal of the game. The Dynamo Academy alumnus has scored in back-to-back league matches for the first time in his career; his goal in last week’s win over Montreal earned MLS Goal of the Week honors.
Vancouver equalized off a penalty kick in the 35th minute from Fredy Montero. The Colombian international was brought down inside the box on a corner kick and converted the spot kick for his first goal of the season.
Video review was used in the 38th minute to confirm a penalty kick after Elis was brought down inside the box by Cornelius. Referee Nima Saghafi pointed to the penalty spot after reviewing the play with Video Assistant Referee Chico Grajeda. Elis converted the penalty kick with a shot to the lower left corner of the net to give Houston the lead in the 42nd minute.
Second-half substitute Lass Bangoura equalized for Vancouver in the 54th minute after he won the ball near midfield. The midfielder dribbled into the box and beat Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis with a perfectly-placed shot to the far post.
Elis and Rodriguez combined for the second time in the 73rd minute when Elis found Rodriguez at the far post for the game-winning goal. With the goal, his third of the young season, Rodriguez has already tied his previous single-season career high.
After playing seven games in three countries over the last 25 days, the Dynamo will enjoy a much-needed bye next weekend before traveling to Colorado to take on the Rapids on March 30 (8 p.m. CDT). They will return to BBVA Compass Stadium after an international break at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 to face the San Jose Earthquakes. Tickets for Saturday’s match are on sale now, starting at $24, at HoustonDynamo.com or by phone at 713-276-4625 (GOAL).
Houston Dynamo 3-2 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
MLS Regular Season, Week 3
Saturday, March 16, 2019
BBVA Compass Stadium – Houston, Texas
HOU: Memo Rodriguez 2 (Alberth Elis 1) 15
VAN: Fredy Montero 1 (penalty kick) 35
HOU: Alberth Elis 1 (penalty kick) 42
VAN: Lass Bangoura 1 (unassisted) 54
HOU: Memo Rodriguez 3 (Alberth Elis 2, Mauro Manotas 1) 73
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; Adam Lundkvist, Kevin Garcia, Aljaž Struna, A.J. DeLaGarza; Matías Vera, Boniek García ©, Tomás Martínez (Tommy McNamara 71); Memo Rodriguez (Romell Quioto 74), Mauro Manotas (Marlon Hairston 90), Alberth Elis
Substitutes not used: Tyler Deric, Ronaldo Peña, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Darwin Cerén
Total shots:21 (Tomás Martínez, Memo Rodriguez 5); Shots on goal: 6 (Memo Rodriguez 2); Fouls: 19 (Alberth Elis 5); Offside: 2 (Alberth Elis 2); Corner kicks: 8 (Adam Lundkvist 4); Saves: 1 (Joe Willis 1)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Maxime Crépeau; Scott Sutter, Doneil Henry, Erik Godoy, Derek Cornelius (Lass Bangoura 46); Hwang Inbeom, Jon Erice © (Joaquin Ardaiz 74), Andy Rose, Victor Giro; Yordy Reyna (Lucas Venuto 67), Fredy Montero
Substitutes not used: Zac McMath, Jakob Nerwinski, Felipe, David Norman
Total shots: 7 (Hwang Inbeom, Fredy Montero 2); Shots on goal: 3 (Lass Bangoura, Hwang Inbeom, Fredy Montero 1); Fouls: 14 (Andy Giro, Victor Rose 3); Offside: 2 (Lass Bangoura, Derek Cornelius 1); Corner kicks: 8 (Hwang Inbeom 7); Saves: 3 (Maxime Crépeau 3)
HOU: Memo Rodriguez (caution; foul) 48
VAN: Victor Guiro (caution; foul) 82
HOU: Romell Quioto (caution; unsporting behavior) 83
HOU: Mauro Manotas (caution; time wasting) 90
Referee: Nima Saghafi
Assistant Referee 1: Logan Brown
Assistant Referee 2: Brian Dunn
Fourth Official: Mark Allatin
VAR: Chico Grajeda
Weather: Cloudy, 53 degrees