HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 26, 2019) – Despite a nearly three hour weather delay, the Houston Dynamo are through to the quarter finals of the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League. Thanks to twp second half goals from substitute Mauro Manotas, they advanced 3-1 on aggregate over CD Guastatoya.
Mauro Manotas goals lift Houston Dynamo in rainy CCL second leg
The story of this match happened before the game even kicked off. Heavy rain fell on BBVA Compass Stadium with lightning in the area, forcing officials to delay the start of the match. Originally scheduled for 7 PM local time, the match finally started just after 9:30.
Rain fell throughout the match. Impressively, the stadium pitch wasn’t completely waterlogged but was wet and the ball played quickly on the ground.
The match itself was territorial affair with most chances coming in bunches with breakdowns due to pressing. The weather and late kick off seemed to hamper both teams in quality link up play.
The best chance of the first half came in the 27th minute when CD Guastatoya when Ariel Martinez hit the crossbar after a pass turned the ball over in the final third.
Both teams looked to counter quickly in the second half as the game became stretched. Guastatoya finally found the back of the net in when Aaron Navarro scored off the woodwork in the 72nd minute after a great through ball saw him go in on goal unmarked.
It took just five minutes for the home side to respond. Off the bench, Alberth Elis got a lucky bounce off a defender to spring a 2-on-1 counter attack. Elis laid the ball off perfectly to Manotas who scored easily to make it 2-1 on aggregate.
Manotas added an insurance goal in the final minutes to record a brace with set piece goal that was deflected off the wall. The match ended 2-1, with the aggregate score at 3-1.
Mother Nature: Other than Manotas, the rain was the story of the game tonight. It delayed the match and the play of both teams changed with the conditions.
CONCACAFing: Like the first leg, it didn’t take more than 30 minutes for this game to get chippy. Both sides were tactical with off-the-ball fouls and some embellishment. The Dynamo didn’t seem phased by the antics and that should serve them well when they encounter a Liga MX side in this tournament.
Dynamo Counter Attack: Despite their weaknesses elsewhere, when the Dynamo counter attack is clicking, they’re a very dangerous team. Mauro Manotas scored 20 goals last year and restarted that form tonight with some great services from Elis as well.