The Houston Dynamo dropped a hard-fought contest to first-place Los Angeles FC tonight, falling 3-1 at Banc of California Stadium. The loss officially ended Houston’s playoff chances, while LAFC clinched the Supporters Shield – awarded to the MLS club with the best regular-season record – with their win.
LAFC took the lead in the 23rd minute after Carlos Vela converted a penalty kick. The Black and Gold were awarded the spot kick after for a foul inside the penalty area on Brian Rodríguez.
Houston equalized five minutes later off a corner kick that forced an own goal from LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller. Defender Adam Lundkvist found defender Kiki Struna off a corner kick outside the six yard box and the Slovenian defender forced a point-blank save from the LAFC backline that rebounded off Miller into the back of the net.
Forward Diego Rossi gave LAFC the lead in the 70th minute after Dynamo defender Maynor Figueroa attempted to clear a shot that bounced off the crossbar. The Uruguayan powered a diving header into the net to score his 16th goal of the season.
Midfielder Eduard Atuesta capped things off with an inch-perfect free kick from the edge of the penalty area in the 82nd minute. After a Dynamo foul at the corner of the box, Atuesta curled his free kick around the wall and just inside the far post, eluding a diving effort by Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis.
Dynamo forward Alberth Elis looked as though he was going to pull a goal back in the 85th minute when he headed a corner kick from Lundkvist toward the lower left corner of the net. His headed shot had Miller beaten, but midfielder Lee Nguyen cleared the ball off the line to keep things at 3-1.
Dynamo captain Boniek García found forward Mauro Manotas for Houston’s first opportunity of the game in the second minute. The Colombian forward dribbled into the box to create space for a shot, but his effort was blocked by a LAFC defender.
Defender Mohamed El-Munir would force a save from Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis six minutes later with a shot that was handled comfortably by the Houston shot stopper.
Video review was used to overturn a penalty kick against the Dynamo in the 31st minute for a foul on midfielder Lee Nguyen just outside the penalty area. Vela would go on to take the free kick, which bounced off the post. The rebound fell to defender Eddie Segura who missed the bottom corner of the near post.
Willis was called into action again in the 45th minute after Vela found Rossi with a backheel pass outside the box. The Uruguayan forward attempted to catch Willis off his line, but the Dynamo goalkeeper was well positioned to handle the shot.
Manotas forced Miller off his line in the 62nd minute as the Colombian forward lunged to make contact with a 50-50 ball. The LAFC goalkeeper beat Manotas to the ball with a diving header and the Black and Gold were able to quell the danger after winning the first ball.
Defender Tristan Blackmon forced a save at the near post in the 66th minute with a shot to the bottom corner of the far post. LAFC would knock on the door a minute later as Atuesta forced a save from the right side of the box.
The Dynamo will close out their two-game road trip on Sunday when they face Nick Rimando and Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on KUBE-TV 57. The Dynamo return to BBVA Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 6 for Fan Appreciation Night presented by BBVA and a special send-off for captain and U.S soccer legend DaMarcus Beasley.