In a game that pitted fifth-placed sides from both of the MLS conferences, Houston Dynamo picked up a crucial 2-0 win over Columbus Crew at the BBVA Compass Stadium.
It took one goal each in either halves for them to seal all three points, as Mauro Manotas and Tomas Martinez scored a goal each to hand Columbus their fourth defeat in just as many games.
Both teams started in similar 4-2-3-1 shapes, with Caleb Porter’s men playing Gyasi Zardes up front despite his inability to have found the back of the net in the club’s last six league games. And Manotas started up front for Wílmer Cabrera’s side.
Houston did start brightly and found the back of the net in the third minute of the game.
Alberth Elis showed immense drive to steal the ball away from Columbus defender Lalas Abubakar, who was left for dead. The 23-year-old from Honduras was successful in setting Manotas up, who scored his first goal in as many as five games. His last goal for Houston had come against Montreal Impact and that had turned out to be a winner in a 2-1 win over the Canadian side.
The rest of the second half saw Columbus improve and take control of the game more.
But they failed to make an impact with the response to the goal, as Houston got the second goal ten minutes into the second half.
And Manotas was again responsible for the creation of the chance as it was his shot at goal that forced Zack Steffen into a save. Steffen’s attempt at clearing the ball away resulted in a blatant failure. The 24-year-old set it up perfectly for Tomas Martinez, who put the rebound into the back of the net.
Despite having created multiple opportunities to pull one back, Columbus failed to even get consolation out of a tie that saw them register as many as 20 shots on goal.
This was Houston’s fourth win in five games, with one defeat coming at the hands of LA Galaxy earlier this month in a 2-1 defeat at Los Angeles. This was also Orange Crush Las Naranjas’s first clean sheet of the season.
For Columbus it was another poor result in a period that hasn’t been the best for them recently. It was their fourth defeat in just as many games, as they are yet to win a single game after their 1-0 win over New England in the first week of this month.
Columbus’ only respite would be the fact that this was their tenth game of the season and with all the teams yet to play their games, they would not be sure what to expect being at fifth with 13 points on the board.
Their next game sees them travel to Wayne Rooney’s DC United- the side they lost 1-0 last week. Followed by that, they will host LA Galaxy in what would surely be a tough tie.
For Houston, they too stayed at fifth in the Western conference, despite having played two games less than FC Dallas and leaders LAFC. Their next tie sees them lock horns with Dallas, who are in fourth and are just a point ahead.