Something has to give when an explosive attack meets a stingy defense. On Saturday in Houston, it was the team with the firepower that won. By a large margin, too.
The Houston Dynamo routed Orlando City at home on Saturday night, posting an impressive 4-0 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium. Mauro Manotas led the way for the Dynamo with a brace and an assist, but the winner came from Alberth Elis in the first half. The Dynamo's other goal-scorer was Romell Quioto.
Orlando were down just one goal at halftime, but gave up three in the second half while chasing the game.
- 23' – HOU – Alberth Elis Watch
- 51' – HOU – Mauro Manotas Watch
- 65' – HOU – Mauro Manotas Watch
- 75' – HOU – Romell Quioto Watch
- DEADLY DYNAMO: The Houston Dynamo were without Erick 'Cubo' Torres, lost Eric Alexander after just nine minutes because of an injury, and missed an early penalty kick. None of that stopped the club from posting its biggest win of the season, as the Dynamo attack terrorized Orlando City's defense from the opening whistle. This was not a one-man show, either. Houston got contributions from almost all their attack-minded players, including Mauro Manotas and a superb Alex in midfield.
- NO ANCHOR, NO ENERGY: Playing their third game in eight days, Orlando just did not look up for the challenge in Houston. On top of resting defensive stalwart Jonathan Spector, fullbacks Scott Sutter and Donny Toia were clearly playing with heavy legs. Sutter and Toia were beat for pace early into their respective 1-on-1 battles with Quioto and Elis, and the Dynamo identified that weakness and kept attacking from wide positions. Throw in goalkeeper Joe Bendik having an usually rough day at the office with two big errors, and this was a performance to forget for the Lions.
- CLASS IN COUNTERATTACKING: Houston's first two goals came as a result of solid wide play, but their last two were all about the quality of their counters. On the 65th-minute tally, Alex hit a gem of a pass in behind the Orlando City back four that Quioto raced onto before sliding the ball to Manotas for the finish. Manotas and Quioto reversed roles 10 minutes later, with the Colombian hitting a pass into space that the Honduran finished with aplomb. Quioto's finish to the top corner emphatically and gorgeously punctuated this lopsided victory.