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Dynamo defeat Toronto FC behind early goals

(Image: Twitter/houstondynamo)

Mauro Manotas and Tommy McNamara each had a goal and an assist as the Houston Dynamo snapped an eight-game road losing streak with a 3-1 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday night.

Tomas Martinez also scored for the Dynamo (9-9-3, 30 points), who won their first match away from home since opening the 2019 road schedule with a 4-1 victory at Colorado on March 30. It was also just the second win in 10 league games overall for Houston, which was minus star Alberth Elis (seven goals this year) due to a red-card suspension.

Toronto (8-9-5, 29 points), meanwhile, played its third match over an eight-day stretch and was trying to win three in a row. However, TFC coach Greg Vanney opted to make seven lineup changes from Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls. That included both Jozy Altidore, who pulled one back late, and Michael Bradley coming on as subs, and keeping fellow star Alejandro Pozuelo out due to an ankle issue.

Houston wasted no time taking advantage of Toronto’s less-than-potent starting XI by scoring in the fourth minute. Memo Rodriguez threaded a pass through the Toronto defense to McNamara, who sent a left-footed, cross-body shot past keeper Quentin Westberg.

The Dynamo were again rewarded in the 23rd minute thanks to Manotas. Taking advantage of another gap in the TFC defense, Manotas chipped a pass to the surging Martinez, who had little trouble beating Westberg.

Altidore came on out of halftime and nearly scored twice within the first five minutes as TFC elevated their pressure. Though Toronto was rejuvenated, Manotas slammed the door on the host’s momentum when he brilliantly dribbled around and through four Toronto defenders, then drilled a laser past Westberg on 57 minutes for his eighth goal of 2019.

Toronto kept the pressure coming and was finally rewarded on Altidore’s header in the 75th minute for his eighth of the season. TFC appeared to make it 3-2 in the 83rd, but their free-kick goal was ruled offside.

REUTERS/Field Level Media

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