Houston Dynamo 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1 | MLS Match Recap
HOUSTON – A goal by Alex with just 13 minutes remaining gave the Houston Dynamo a massive 2-1 win against 10-man San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium, lifting the Dynamo within a point of the playoff zone in the Western Conference.
The three points came against a direct competitor in the chase for the postseason, but the Dynamo needed Alex to charge down the middle of the field and punch home the late winner on a feed from the right flank by newcomer Sheanon Williams.
The Dynamo (8-8-7, 31 pts) are now undefeated in their last three games, while San Jose (7-10-5, 26 pts) remain second from bottom in the Western Conference.
DaMarcus Beasley joined Alex on the scoresheet with a sensational opener. The US international begged for the ball with acres of space and teammate Giles Barnes finally obliged with a long through ball. Beasley picked the ball up and cut through two defenders before slotting his first goal for the Dynamo to give them the momentary lead in the 55th minute.
Things looked to be going the Dynamo's way when San Jose were reduced to 10 men after Fatai Alashe was shown the door in the 60th minute. The rookie, who saw yellow late in the first half for a reckless challenge on Houston's Luis Garrido, was beaten by Barnes and pulled the attacker back. It was enough for a second caution card and an early shower, according to referee Fotis Bazakos.
But the shorthanded visitors still found a way to pull even and take advantage of a poor defensive play by the Dynamo in the 70th minute. San Jose's Shaun Francis headed a high, hopeful ball toward goal from just inside the box, but goalkeeper Joe Willis, who stepped in for the injured Tyler Deric, misplayed the ball and San Jose's Quincy Amarikwa snuck in behind and chested the ball into the net.
The first half proved rough and tumble, but it was the Dynamo with the best early looks as Will Bruin and Brad Davis both came within a whisker of opening the scoring. In a role reversal, it was Bruin pushing up the sideline in the 29th minute to play in a streaking Davis, but his sliding attempt finished wide of the far post. Davis’ shot woke up Houston’s attack as they pushed into the box with two more attacks on goal in the following minutes.
San Jose matched Houston’s energy step for step and it was former Dynamo forward Chris Wondolowski who nearly found the back of the net. He had a clean shot in the 39th minute, but Willis managed to deflect the attempt. Five minutes later, Wondolowski thought he had scored the opener, but an offside flag kept the affair scoreless at halftime.
San Jose will return home to host the Colorado Rapids next Friday night (11 pm ET, UniMas), while Houston travel to face the New England Revolution the following day (7:30 pm ET).