Houston Dynamo beat Atlanta United 4-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium with all four goals coming in the first half. Atlanta, who are considered one of the favourites for MLS Cup were made to look like rookies.
It didn’t take long for the first goal to arrive. Dynamo took the lead in the first five minutes of the game when Alberth Elis found himself behind the Atlanta defence before crossing to Andrew Wenger who slotted home from close range.
Alberth Elis and Mauro Manotas were causing Atlanta so many problems during the first half, testing the Five Stripes’ defensive ability. Experienced Dynamo defender, Philippe Senderos doubled the home side’s lead in the 24th minute with a header from a corner.
After 27 minutes, it was 3-0 and effectively game over. Manotas who had been the key threat for Dynamo got the goal that he fully deserved.
Five minutes later, Atlanta had their first real chance of the game. Josef Martinez crossed to Miguel Almiron who had an open goal and just had to make connection to score, however, he failed to convert.
Not long after the miss, United defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was stretchered off and everything was falling apart for Atlanta. I hope the injury sustained by ‘LGP’ is nothing serious and that he is back on the field as soon as possible.
I don’t want to pick on Brad Guzan, as without him there could have been a lot more damage on the scoreboard. Having said that, he was at fault for Houston’s fourth goal and he should have done better.
It was a simple cross that should have been caught, however he flapped at it and allowed Dynamo’s Darwin Ceren to make it 4-0.
Two minutes into the second half, it looked like Atlanta’s day might have been getting better. They were awarded a penalty when Josef Martinez was brought down in the box and Miguel Almiron stepped up to take.
Looking to redeem his earlier miss, Almiron stepped up and took the spot-kick. That was also missed and it summed up Atlanta’s day. Houston keeper Chris Seitz pushed the ball onto the post, preserving his clean sheet in the process.
Atlanta battled and grew into the game in the second half but they didn’t create many clear-cut chances to note. It was a disappointing afternoon for those from the ATL and the fantastic travelling fans.
The Five Stripes will bounce back, as will Toronto FC who were defeated by Columbus Crew earlier in the day.
Written by Luke Beaumont (@_LukeBeaumont)