The Houston Dynamo shook off a frustrating first half and a long weather delay to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Houston scored quickly in the second half on a beauty of a play. Forward Alberth Elis made an excellent run down the pitch, sent a pass to forward Mauro Manotas on the right side of the penalty box, and Manotas passed it right back to Elis, who knocked a shot past the goalkeeper for the match’s first goal in the 52nd minute.
Shortly after a questionable non-call on a potential foul on Elis in the box, San Jose midfielder Jackson Yueill booted in a goal from just outside of the penalty area in the 56th minute to knot the score at 1-1.
Houston re-took the lead, 2-1, in the 60th minute when the Quakes defense deflected an Elis pass into the box and midfielder Tomas Martinez caught the rebound and sent a left-footed goal into the back of the net.
The Dynamo had plenty of scoring opportunities in the first half, but entered the halftime break — a halftime break extended by more than an hour due to a lightning delay — mired in a scoreless draw with the Quakes.
Most notably, Manotas squandered a penalty kick try in the 35th minute, firing the free shot off the left post. Manotas rebounded the ball past the keeper, but was offside. The Dynamo earned the penalty when Martinez worked his way past the defense and was pulled down in the penalty area while attempting a shot.
In the 10th minute, forward Marlon Hairston appeared to beat the Quakes defense and knocked a shot into the back of the net, but was ruled offside in what was a close call. Houston also had two shots on goal inside the match’s first 10 minutes.
Dynamo defender Maynor Figueroa sent a screamer of a shot attempt from just outside the box in the 20th minute, but it thumped off the top crossbar.
Elis and Manotas nearly added to the Dynamo’s lead in the 78th minute on a play similar to the one that netted the match’s first goal, but Elis’s shot was stopped by San Jose goalkeeper Daniel Vega, and Manotas’s attempt to head in the rebound saw the ball clank off the crossbar.
Manotas also got a good look in the 66th minute, but his attempt at the far post saw the ball travel just wide of the goal.
While the Quakes controlled possession in the match (57.7 percent to 42.3 percent), the Dynamo had more shot attempts (10-8) and as many shots on goal (3-3).
The Dynamo (4-0-1) return to action 10 p.m. Friday on the road against the L.A. Galaxy at StubHub Tennis Center.