HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo earned a 4-0 win over the New York Red Bulls and remained undefeated at home, breaking a three-game winless streak in front of an announced crowd of 19,531.
Houston returned home after a 10-day cross-country trip with no points, seven conceded goals in three league games and only one goal scored in its favor.
During the first half, the Dynamo showed interest in scoring, but the goal celebration was elusive for the home team until the 39th minute.
Midfielder Alberth Elis passed the ball into the 18-yard box to his teammate Mauro Manotas, who was perfectly situated in front of the net with no Red Bull defense around. He calmly tapped the ball into the opponents’ net, making the score 1-0 right before the halftime whistle.
“We knew we had a responsibility. We had to win again, it was a need, it was an emergency. It was an important match for our confidence to return to us. We were at home with a difficult opponent and we won,” attacking forward Mauro Manotas said after the match.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Dynamo earned several shots and had a golden opportunity to add to their lead, but a shot by Thomas Martinez from outside the box hit the crossbar.
Martinez quickly brushed off the missed shot and searched for the scoring opportunity, which came from a corner kick. The Argentinian settled the ball and fired a straight shot in the 56th minute, bringing home the second goal for the Dynamo.
The Red Bulls could not keep up with a Houston team that was hungry for more goals and kept attacking.
Several of the Honduran national team players returned from the Gold Cup, Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis, a duo known to score and spark excitement on the pitch. They created the third goal of the night in the 77th minute.
Quito was alone with no opponents near, he took his time to position himself and clipped the ball to Elis, who headed the goal into the back post and there was nothing the Red Bulls goalkeeper could do to stop it.
“It’s difficult when you don’t have your players. Now that the players came back, we are going to win, we are going to lose and we are going to tie, but [these are] … our players – this is the main roster, this is the team that we have chosen in the start of the season,” Houston coach Wilmer Cabrera said.
Cabrera added that even though his team had difficulty winning road games, it never gave up. All the Dynamo can do now is look forward with a complete roster and try to earn points.
Four minutes of stoppage time was added and as people were getting ready to leave the BBVA Stadium, Houston added the fourth and final goal of the night. It made fans rush back to their seats to celebrate. The Dynamo had not hosted as many fans for a while and the fan support inspired the players.
“Well, it was a beautiful surprise to find the support of the fans when we were warming up and that’s why we wanted to bring back the confidence to the team and give a good show to them,” Cabrera said.
Elis got his second goal of the night. Although Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles touched the ball, it wasn’t enough to stop the goal – the ball trickled into the net in slow motion.
“Here we all work to do things well, everyone who plays tries to do it in the best way. I think we now have to look to win outside if we want to do something in the tournament,” Elis said. “If we did not win today, we easily could have left the playoff zone.”
Once the euphoria of the fourth goal was over, referee Baldomero Toledo handed two red cards. One went to Red Bull Alejandro Romero and the other went to the Dynamo’s Maynor Figueroa for violent conduct with each other.
Houston hits the road next week and will face FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium on Saturday.