Mauro Manotas scored his 12th goal of the season, Christian Ramirez got his third against his first MLS team in two appearances, and the Houston Dynamo snapped a seven-match winless run with a 2-0 victory over Minnesota United on Wednesday night at BBVA Stadium.
Manotas also helped set up Ramirez's chip over goalkeeper Vito Mannone, which proved to be an insurance goal in a victory that was just Houston's third in their last 18 league matches, and the first for interim head coach Davy Arnaud.
The Dynamo technically are still alive in the 2019 Audi MLS Cup Playoff race, but at nine points beneath the playoff line still with five matches left, it would take a near-miracle to reach the postseason.
Either way, the Loons would've needed to secure a second goal to earn a point to move ahead of Seattle on goal difference. A win would've guaranteed them second place in the standings entering the weekend.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Ramirez has scored eight MLS goals in 29 appearances since the Loons traded him to LAFC in August of 2018. Cruelly for coach Adrian Heath's squad, three of those have come in the California native's two appearances against the club he helped launch on the MLS level in 2017, following a prolific NASL stint in the Twin Cities.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The 2019 season has been a tough one for Ramirez, but you know he had to feel some satisfaction when he raced onto Manotas' throughball and expertly chipped Mannone.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Mauro Manotas: The Colombian continues to produce even while his team struggles, and by scoring one goal and supplying the service on another, he deserves this Dynamo victory as much as anyone. The set-up to Ramirez was his seventh of the season, as he continues to better his previous MLS high of five.