After a first half in which quality chances were hard to come by, Rooney gave the Black-and-Red the breakthrough in the 46th minute. The Designated Player ghosted to the back post and got on the end of a Ulises Segura cross, with the entire sequence ending 23 ticks after head referee Rubiel Vazquez resumed play.
But the Dynamo sprung to life midway through the second half, starting with a Memo Rodriguez scoring his fifth of the year in the 67th minute. He dribbled in from the left wing and rifled home from 20 yards out past Bill Hamid. A minute later, Tommy McNamara scored his first goal in nearly two years and his first in a Dynamo shirt to give Houston a 2-1 lead they would never relinquish.
Any D.C. hopes for a comeback were nipped in the bud when Paul Arriola, playing in a deep-lying role, was shown a straight red card. The call, upon consulting Video Review, was changed from a yellow to red for stomping on Adam Lundkvist.
Another point of contention came less than 30 seconds in, as D.C. center back Steven Birnbaum and Houston forward Alberth Elis clashed heads. Birnbaum eventually returned bandaged up, but Elis was forced to exit as a precaution.
- 46' – DC – Wayne Rooney | WATCH
- 67' – HOU – Memo Rodriguez | WATCH
- 68' – HOU – Tommy McNamara | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: After a two-game winless skid, Houston earned three points for the seventh time of the season. Meanwhile, D.C. couldn’t dip into their road form, which has already produced three wins away from Audi Field. More than anything, this match between two teams above the playoff line in their respective conferences showed how slim the margin for error often is.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: When Wilmer Cabrera brought on Tommy McNamara in the 66th minute, Houston trailed 1-0. Two minutes later, the Dynamo were up 2-1, with the American midfielder scoring the game-winning goal after pushing home a cross at the back post. It was his first goal since a Sept. 16, 2017 match against the Colorado Rapids.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: While he didn’t find the scoresheet, Matias Vera was immense in a two-way role for the Dynamo’s midfield. With D.C.’s fluid movement in the attacking third, he broke up attacks and linked play going forward. The 23-year-old Argentine, signed this past offseason from San Lorenzo, is slowly becoming a 90-minute staple.