The Houston Dynamo dropped their first game of the season tonight, falling 2-1 to the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park on Friday night.
The Galaxy struck first by virtue of a penalty kick goal from forward Zlatan Ibrahimović. The Swedish international drew the penalty when he went down in the penalty area after contact with Dynamo defender A.J. DeLaGarza. Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis guessed correctly and got his left hand on Ibrahimović’s shot, but wasn’t able to push it wide.
The Dynamo equalized in the 53rd minute, also through a penalty. Forward Alberth Elis won the spot kick after he was brought down at the edge of the penalty area by Galaxy defender Jørgen Skjelvik after a quick restart from DeLaGarza. Elis stepped up and coolly rolled his attempt inside the left post for his fourth goal of the season.
The Galaxy found the winner in the 85th minute off of a corner kick when defender Diego Polenta headed midfielder Jonathan dos Santos’ corner just inside of the back post and just past a diving effort from Willis.
Houston pressed for a second goal throughout the final 10 minutes, starting with a brilliant individual effort from Elis in which he stripped his defender and put himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but his shot hit the side netting. Three minutes later, Elis played the role of creator, chipping a ball to forward Mauro Manotas behind the back line, but Manotas’ low shot was saved by goalkeeper David Bingham.
A minute after Polenta’s goal midfielder Memo Rodriguez, who came on in the 70th minute, nearly leveled things with an audacious chip from 60 yards, forcing Bingham to backtrack and leap to snag the shot.
The loss snaps Houston’s five-game unbeaten run to start the year, but despite the result the Dynamo are still out to the best start to a season in club history with 13 points through six games.
The Dynamo return home to BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday, April 27 to host Columbus Crew SC for the club’s inaugural End Cancer Night, presented by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Tickets for the match are on sale now, starting at $24, at HoustonDynamo.com or by phone at 713-276-4625 (GOAL).
LA Galaxy 2-1 Houston Dynamo
MLS Regular Season, Week 8
Friday, April 19, 2019 – Dignity Health Sports Park – Carson, Calif.
LA: Zlatan Ibrahimović 7 (penalty) 31
HOU: Alberth Elis 4 (penalty) 53
LA: Diego Polenta 1 (Jonathan dos Santos 1) 85
LA Galaxy: David Bingham; Jørgen Skjelvik, Diego Polenta, Daniel Steres, Julian Araujo; Joe Corona (Servando Carrasco 87), Jonathan dos Santos; Uriel Antuna, Sebastian Lletget, Romain Allessandrini (Emmanuel Boateng 16, Giancarlo González 90+1); Zlatan Ibrahimovic ©
Substitutes not used: Matt Lampson, Emil Cuello, Juninho, Dave Romney
Total shots: 13 (Zlatan Ibrahimović 6); Shots on goal: 5 (Emmanuel Boateng, Zlatan Ibrahimović 2); Fouls: 13 (Diego Polenta, Jørgen Skjelvik 3); Offside: 4 (Zlatan Ibrahimović 3); Corner kicks: 4 (Jonathan dos Santos 4); Saves: 2 (David Bingham 2)
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; Adam Lundkvist, Maynor Figueroa, Aljaž Struna, A.J. DeLaGarza; Matías Vera, Boniek García © (Marlon Hairston 85), Tomás Martínez (Juan David Cabezas 79); Tommy McNamara (Memo Rodriguez 70), Mauro Manotas, Alberth Elis
Substitutes not used: Tyler Deric, Darwin Cerén, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Sam Junqua
Total shots: 13 (Mauro Manotas 5); Shots on goal: 3 (Mauro Manotas 2); Fouls: 10 (A.J. DeLaGarza 3); Offside: 1 (Alberth Elis 1); Corner kicks: 5 (Boniek García 3); Saves: 3 (Joe Willis 3)
HOU: A.J. DeLaGarza (caution; foul) 29
HOU: Matías Vera (caution; foul) 47
HOU: Alberth Elis (caution; foul) 85
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referee 1: Jeffrey Greeson
Assistant Referee 2: Chris Elliott
Fourth Official: Guido Gonzalez, Jr.
VAR: Alex Chilowicz
Weather: 59 degrees; Partly Cloudy