HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo’s last game of the season was one of the most electric games the team played in the 2019 season in a 4-2 win over the LA Galaxy.
Unfortunately, it didn’t mean much as the Dynamo were already eliminated from the postseason and the Galaxy were already playoffs-bound, but the Dynamo sent legendary captain DaMarcus Beasley into retirement with a historic win at BBVA Stadium.
“I think it’s a really good way to end the season the way that we did, with (Beasley) and the result, I couldn’t be happier,” said Dynamo interim head coach Davy Arnaud. “Not only do I think it’s a good game, but we put on a good show. We came from behind twice, we had a big crowd, which I think inspired us as well. For me, the day couldn’t have gone much better.”
In the 9th minute, Galaxy superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic received a pass from fellow teammate Sebastian Lletget and, in the typical “Ibra style,” he calmly chipped the ball into the Dynamo net to start off the scoring.
Minutes later, Ibra was looking to score once more on Houston turf, but his kick hit the crossbar denying him a second goal.
“He makes life very difficult — I don’t care who you are,” Arnaud said. “When you’re playing against him, he’s going to cause you problems, which at times he did. He’s going to have his moments, which I thought he did. But I thought our backline, our two centerbacks in particular, did a really a good job of dealing with him. It’s not an easy task.”
Houston was also creating counterattacks in order to find the equalizer in the first half. Houston striker Christian Ramirez blasted a shot straight into Galaxy territory but was blocked by LA goalie David Bingham.
Oct 6, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (9) and Houston Dynamo defender Maynor Figueroa (15) fight for the ball in the first half at BBVA Compass Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Las Naranja had 10 shots total to LA’s eight, and the Dynamo did well to stand up to a star-filled Galaxy team.
Just as the clock hit 47 minutes, a Dynamo Alberth Elis shot skidded off the post, but teammate Ramirez was there to blast in the rebound left undefended by Galaxy to level the score 1-1 right before the halftime whistle.
Ten minutes into the second half, Galaxy attacker Cristian Pavon hit the left-right far post with a right-footed goal right side just outside the six-yard mark putting his team in a 2-1 advantage over the Dynamo.
Behind by a goal, Houston kept pushing up and Elis scored the 2-2 equalizer. La Panterita was wide open with no LA Galaxy defense in sight as Elis received the pass from Dynamo defense Kiki Struna and wasted to no time blasting the ball into the back of the net.
As the game wound down, a major lapse from the Galaxy defense gave the Dynamo a golden opportunity take the lead.
In the 83rd minute, Elis stayed on a ball as Galaxy players mistakenly thought the ball went out of bounds. Elis, without blinking, sent the ball into the penalty area where Ramirez was waiting for the one-time tap-in to take the lead.
Elis was the super star of the game scoring one Dynamo goal, assisting on two more and being essential on another.
“Grateful to God for that goal and that assistance. I was close to match the numbers from last year, I improved the first year stats and that keeps me content because my numbers were almost the same in fewer games,” said Alberth Elis.
“I hope to continue in the same way. I think that for me personally it doesn’t make me very happy to be in the bottom spots in the table, I always like to play playing something.”
Beasley, an 11-year legend in MLS, received a standing ovation from the crowd at BBVA Stadium. It was Beasley’s last game of his career and he retired with the Dynamo jersey after five seasons in Houston.
“Forget that I am retiring after this, this is my last game, whatever — we have a game to win,” Beasley said. “Especially when you play at home in front of your fans and not having the greatest season, you definitely want to give the fans something to be excited about, to be proud of for next season.”
“We came from behind twice today and it just shows that you know, I always said in different interviews that this team will never stop fighting, we always put the effort in we always play 100 percent for each other we are just missing that quality, that quality on some passes, being in front of the goal, even defending, sometimes the play wasn’t there like you’d like it to be but the effort, the fight, the heart that these boys have is just something you can’t teach.”
As the fans were settling down in their seats Memo Rodriguez entering the pitch during stoppage time and seconds later scored the fourth goal for the Dynamo giving them a 4-2 win.
Once again it was Elis who with speed won the ball from Galaxy defense and crossed into the pk area and Rodriguez came out of nowhere and blasted the ball inside the net giving Houston a strong win.
Houston ends their season with 40 points. At the beginning of the year the Dynamo started off hot and looked like a fit in for the playoffs, however, the fire quickly extinguished and left the team without a playoff spot for the second season in a row.
“It was a difficult season, very complicated for the team and very tough for me personally too. It was just a complicated year, but I am thankful to God for challenging me, it helped me grow a lot this year and I hope to take these lessons with me into next year. We fully expect to be a better team next season,” said striker Mauro Manotas on the Dynamo’s season.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy ends their season with 51 points the LA team qualified for the playoffs with their 2-1 victory over Salt Lake and will now prepare for their playoff run.