Saturday, April 15, 2017

Houston Dynamo and Minnesota United battle to 2-2 draw

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 15, 2017) In a game that saw the all the action for the Houston Dynamo in the first half with the Minnesota United FC controling the second half, the best both teams could manage was a 2-2 draw in front of 16,125 fans at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Saturday, April 15, 2017. The Dynamo move to 3-2-1 (10 points) on the season while Minnesota moves to 1-4-2 (5 points).

The first goal of the game came in the 15th minute when forward Maura Manotas received the ball at the middle of the box and drove the it past Minnesota goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. Manotas received the ball from forward Erick Torres with an additional assist from midfielder Ricardo Clark. It was the first goal of the season for Manotas, who hails from Sabanalarga, Columbia, in additon to being the seventh goal of his MLS career. The assist from Torres was also his first of the season and the fifth of his career. In 2016, Manotas tied the team lead with six goals in MLS play despite not starting a game until August 14. He was acquired by the Dynamo on May 13, 2015 in transfer from Uniautonoma F.C. Houston doubled their lead to 2-0 in the 43rd minute off a free kick from defender Boniak Garcia to forward Alberth Elis. It was the second goal of the season in six games for the 21-year-old from San Pedeo Sula, Honduras.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved

Minnesota finally got on the scoreboard in the 47th minute, cutting the Houston lead to 2-1 when forward Christian Ramirez scored his fifth goal of the season, with an assist by midfielder Kevin Molino, his third of the season. They evened the score in the 62nd minute with a quick kick from forward Johan Venegas at the top of the goal box.

Dynamo head coach Wilber Cabrera talked with the press after the game and discussed the overall game.

“Around 75 minutes of this game, we were good. Seventy-five. And, for 15 minutes, we lost control of everything. The first 10 minutes of the second half, I didn’t recognize the guys. They weren’t sharp. Conceding a goal from set pieces, which, that can happen. But then, we lost further control of the ball. We couldn’t make three passes in a row. We lost our intensity. And, I’m going to blame myself. I’m going to take full responsibility for that. I’m not going to blame all the guys. I just told the guys that I’m going to take the last 30 minutes, the way they reacted, is the way I’m looking for the Houston Dynamo team for the rest of the 2017 season. I’m looking for a team who will play that way. Maybe we couldn’t score, but at least we managed the ball better. We passed the ball better. We tried. We worked hard. And, if you score, that’s fine. If you can’t score, at least you can leave the field with your heads up. Understanding that sometimes the ball isn’t going to be going in the best way for us, but that’s something that we need to keep believing in. I’m trying to emphasize right now the positive things that the team did in the second half. I’m going to take those ten minutes away because it happens. We know already that it’s been happening. It’s a small sign that we have. But we’re aiming to destroy that sign, that in the second half the team is not working very well.”

Next up for the Dynamo is a Saturday, April 22 game against the San Jose Earthquakes.

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