COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (March 30, 2019) – The Houston Dynamo were undefeated in league play going into their game this week against Colorado Rapids. It was their first road game of the MLS season. Alberth Elis and the Dynamo counter attack did not disappoint.
La Pantera Runs Wild: Alberth Elis, Houston Dynamo Destroy Colorado Rapids
The theme of the night was Houston staying compact defensively and waiting for a turnover to spring the counter attack. Just four minutes in, Memo Rodríguez got the visitors on the board.
With the Rapids pushing up field, Keegan Rosenberry turned the ball over. Houston sprung an attack with four players, with just three field players back for Colorado. Elis drew Dillon Serna towards him, then sent a great pass to Rodríguez between the centerbacks, who scored easily.
In the 15th minute, Houston won the ball in the attacking third. Elis got behind Serna and ran to the touchline. He got just enough space on Smith and sent a cross to the front of goal towards Mauro Manotas. Axel Sjoberg tried to challenge for the ball, scoring an own goal in the process.
The half ended 3-0 with Rosenberry committing an own goal on a cross in the 34th minute from Elis. The defender had time and space, but made a poor touch to score on his own team.
The Pids looked better in the second half with a few chances, with Kei Kamara, Diego Rubio, and Nicolás Mezquida all getting chances. Elis put the icing on the cake in the 67th minute. Houston worked the ball down the sideline through Tomás Martínez. The moved the ball centrally, then Elis darted between the centerbacks (similar to the first goal) to score on a pass from Manotas.
Colorado did get on the board in the 81st minute after a handball was called on a corner. Kamara scored, sending goalkeeper Joe Willis the wrong way.
The match ended 4-1 with Colorado getting a few changes, but nothing to truly muster a comeback. Smith was given a straight red card in the final minutes of the game.
The Panther is King: The night belonged to Alberth Elis. He had a direct hand in all four goals the Dynamo scored, recording a goal and an assist. Everytime he got the ball in space, something good happened for Houston.
Execution: This game was a match of two teams who’s style of play matched well with the opponent’s weakness. Both backline are suspect. Colorado wanted to possess the ball and put pressure on the defense early and often. Houston wanted to use their counter attack to take advantage of the slower Rapids in man marking situations. One team executed their game plan well. The other did not.
Acosta benched: For the first time this season, a healthy Kellyn Acosta started the game on the bench in favor of Cole Bassett. Bassett had a few good moments but it’s hard to argue he or any of his teammates played well given the scoreline.