The Houston Dynamo gave head coach Tab Ramos his first win with the club, doing so in emphatic fashion with a 5-2 victory at Sporting Kansas City tonight.
Houston’s five goals tied a club single-game scoring record, and it marked the first time the Dynamo scored five in a road game. Forward Darwin Quintero led the way with two goals and two assists in a Man of the Match performance, while forwards Alberth Elis, Niko Hanson and Christian Ramirez each contributed a goal and an assist on the night.
Houston took the lead in the 17th minute thanks to a combination between Quintero and Elis. Quintero took a pass from midfielder Memo Rodriguez inside the penalty area to the left of goal and dribbled between two defenders, drawing goalkeeper Tim Melia to his near post, then playing a deft ball across the goalmouth to Elis for a tap-in goal.
Sporting leveled the match in the 26th minute through a put back by forward Johnny Russell. Forward Gadi Kinda slipped in behind the back line along Houston’s left flank and played in a pass toward forward Alan Pulido. Pulido’s effort was blocked by center back Kiki Struna and right back Zarek Valentin headed it off the crossbar and out, but the rebound fell to Russell, who tapped it home.
The Dynamo retook the lead just before halftime when Elis combined with Ramirez to create a tap-in for Ramirez in the 44th minute. Quintero played wide to Elis on the right corner of the penalty area and the Honduran international took a touch before firing a low centering pass toward the near post. Ramirez sprinted in front of Reid to get a touch on the ball and redirect it into the back of the net for his first of the year.
The Dynamo made it 3-1 shortly after the break when Hanson, a halftime substitute for Elis, raced behind the Sporting back line to latch on to a through ball from Ramirez and, with just his second touch of the night, calmly lifted the ball over Melia with the outside of his right boot and into the back of the net.
Before the dust had settled from Houston’s strike, Sporting pulled a goal back through Kinda a minute later. Pulido leapt to get on the end of a cross from defender Graham Zusi. Pulido’s headed shot caromed off the turf and into the crossbar, and Kinda reacted quickly to fire an overhead volley off the crossbar and over the line.
Quintero made it 4-2 in the 57th minute when he slotted a deft right-footed shot inside the right post and past a diving Melia. Quintero combined with midfielder Darwin Cerén, who laid off a nifty backheel pass to Quintero. The Colombian took a touch across the top of the box to create space before taking the shot.
Quintero scored his second of the night just four minutes later when he got onto the end of a pass from Hanson. Hanson raced down the right flank, drawing the attention of multiple defenders, before playing a diagonal ball to Quintero at the back post. Quintero opened his body to create a shooting chance and placed a right-footed shot back across goal and inside the right post.
The Dynamo will return to Houston this evening and prepare to host Minnesota United FC on Wednesday, Sept. 2 at BBVA Stadium. The match will hold extra significance for Quintero and Ramirez, who each played for Minnesota prior to joining the Dynamo.