HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo were looking to snap a seven-game winless streak and accomplished it Wednesday night with a 2-0 shutout against Minnesota United FC at BBVA Stadium.
It was the Dynamo’s first win since July 20.
After a 10-day rest for the final FIFA break of the regular season, the Dynamo were well-rested. Previously, they’d fallen 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City after being crushed by state rival Dallas FC 5-1.
It was an important win for interim Dynamo coach Davy Arnaud, getting his first victory after taking the reins of the club. Arnaud opted for different tactics from what the Dynamo had played under Wilmer Cabrera, deploying a 4-4-2 formation during the victory.
“I think the most important thing for me is the win for the guys and for the team. They put a lot into the last three weeks,” Arnaud said. “They’ve been putting a lot in for a long time now, but particularly in the last three weeks, they’ve put a lot into it and I am extremely happy for them that we’ve gotten three points, that’s the most important thing. I am happy for those guys.”
With the Dynamo’s first corner kick of the game, they had a good look at goal but were unable to finish due to the intervention of Minnesota goalie Vito Mannone, who punched the ball out of the danger zone in the 34th minute.
With persistence, the Dynamo kept pressure on Minnesota. In the 37th minute, midfielder Tomas Martinez crossed the ball to fellow teammate DaMarcus Beasley, who immediately went into the box and swept through the Minnesota defense, playing a ball to Mauro Manotas’ feet. The Colombian forward tapped the ball into the back of the net, giving his team a 1-0 lead in the first half.
It was the 12th goal for Manotas, giving him 32 goals in 50 starts at home during his Dynamo career.
“They had a couple of clear options to score, but we were great and had a great first half. They leveled a little bit, but we’re happy with the victory. We hope to continue with these victories,” Manotas said.
— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) September 12, 2019
Seven minutes later, Manotas found Christian Ramirez, who beat the Loons defense, took a left-footed shot and was able to keep it under the crossbar, scoring the second goal of the night for the Dynamo. This was a special goal for Ramirez, because not only was it a score against his former team but his first goal at BBVA Stadium.
“I am very happy that I got my first victory here, my first victory at home. I am very happy for the team and to contribute to the big victory tonight,” Ramirez said about his goal.
Ramirez went on to add that he doesn’t want anyone to think that his celebration was disrespectful to his previous club, Minnesota, but that scoring was an uncontainable emotion for him.
Houston dominated the first half with 55% of possession and put four shots on frame. Meanwhile, Minnesota only had two shots with one on target.
The second half was a choppy one, where the Dynamo lost several players due to injuries, including veteran players Boniek Garcia and Juan David Cabezas.
Sep 11, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Dynamo forward Christian Ramirez (13) celebrates after scoring a goal during the first half against Minnesota United at BBVA Compass Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota winger Ethan Finnlay pulled one in for the Loons in the 89thminute, their first goal of the game, but the joy lasted just seconds as the goal was waved off following video review.
The Dynamo sit in second-to-last place in the Western Conference with 31 points. The team will try to earn points on the road next Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps, a team that has 27 points and sits in the last place.