Mauro Manotas had two goals and an assist, Alberth Elis had a goal and created two scoring opportunities, and the Houston Dynamo overcame an early own goal to romp the Portland Timbers, 4-1, on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Timbers broke onto the scoreboard to take a 1-0 lead in the match’s ninth minute courtesy of a highly unlucky bounce for the Dynamo.
A cross into the box by Portland defender Alvas Powell took a deflection off of Houston defender Alejandro Fuenmayor, which sent the ball looping over goalkeeper Joe Willis and into the top left corner of the goal.
The Dynamo came within millimeters of scoring an equalizer in the 18th minute when a ball batted around in the box but was cleared by Portland right in front of the goal line.
The tying goal eventually came in 32nd minute off a free kick from about 15 yards in front of the box. Dynamo midfielder Tomas Martinez sent a perfect lob to the forward Elis, who headed the ball past Portland keeper Steve Clark to knot the score, 1-1.
Houston took a 2-1 lead on a fast break in the 39th minute. Elis was the recipient of a long pass down field from Martinez and found the forward Manotas charging deep in the box, and Manotas got a toe to the ball to put it past Clark.
The Timbers caught the Dynamo defense napping in the 44th minute when midfielder Diego Valeri found midfielder Diego Chara for what initially appeared to be an easy tap-in goal. But, after video review, offside was called and the goal was waved off.
The Dynamo missed a golden opportunity to add to their lead in the 50th minute when a slick Elis pass found Manotas one-on-one with Clark in the box. But, the ball took an awkward hop on Manotas, and his shot attempt sailed well high of the goal.
This time the beneficiary of a deflection in the box, the Dynamo pushed their lead to 3-1 in the 72nd minute. Elis sent a cross into the box that Clark got a hand to, but the batted ball landed right in front of Manotas, who put it away for the goal.
In the 81st minute, Martinez took a free kick from a couple yards to the left of the penalty area, and Manotas headed a pass to Fuenmayor, who atoned for his earlier own goal by blasting the ball into the back of the net to give the Dynamo a 4-1 lead.
The Dynamo (8-13-7) will be back in action 6:30 p.m. next Saturday at Orlando City.