Forward Alberth Elis and midfielder Memo Rodriguez connected twice for goals — including the match-winner — to lead the Houston Dynamo to a 3-2 win Saturday afternoon over the Vancouver Whitecaps at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Dynamo scored the go-ahead goal in the 74th minute when Elis made a nice run and sent a cross to Rodriguez, who tapped it into the back of the net for the 3-2 lead. Forward Mauro Manotas’ pass got Elis’ run started, and he was credited with a secondary assist on the goal.
The Dynamo took a 1-0 lead in the match’s 15th minute when Elis intercepted a Vancouver pass attempt and delivered a cross to a wide open Rodriguez, who put away an easy goal from just a few yards in front of the goal.
A Dynamo foul on a Whitecaps corner kick try resulted in a penalty kick opportunity, which was cashed in by forward Fredy Montero in the 35th minute to tie the match, 1-1.
Less than two minutes later, Elis was tripped from behind during a run into the penalty area, and after a lengthy video assistant referee review, he converted the ensuing penalty kick to put the Dynamo back ahead, 2-1.
Vancouver knotted the score, 2-2, in the 54th minute when the Dynamo turned the ball over near midfield, and midfielder Lass Bangoura took it down field and put away the goal all on his own.
The Dynamo had two near-goals in the 72nd minute. The first saw a pass find midfielder Boniek Garcia briefly open near the penalty kick spot, but he couldn’t quite get enough zip on his shot. Seconds later, midfielder Tommy McNamera stole a ball from Vancouver and sent a pass to Manotas deep in the penalty area, but the Whitecaps defense turned away the shot.
In a prelude of what was to come, Elis and Rodriguez came close to teaming up for a goal in the sixth minute when Rodriguez rebounded Elis’ shot on goal, but Rodriguez’s put-back attempt was just wide.
Another Dynamo near-goal came in the 24th minute when Garcia sent a high cross into the box, but a header from Elis clanked off the crossbar and out of harm’s way.
Houston was clearly the more aggressive team when it came to attacking, attempting 20 shots compared to eight for Vancouver. The Dynamo also won the possession battle, 54.9 percent to 45.1 percent.
The Dynamo (2-0-1) will have a well deserved break after consecutive weeks competing in both MLS and CONCACAF Champions League play, returning to action 8 p.m. March 30 against the Colorado at DSG Park in Commerce City, Colorado.