The Houston Dynamo dropped their first game of the season tonight, falling 2-1 to the LA Galaxy at DignityHealth Sports Park on Friday night.
The Galaxy struck first by virtue of a penalty kick goal from forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. TheSwedish international drew the penalty when he went down in the penalty area after contact withDynamo defender A.J. DeLaGarza. Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis guessed correctly and got his lefthand on Ibrahimovic’s shot, but wasn’t able to push it wide.
The Dynamo equalized in the 53rd minute, also through a penalty. Forward Alberth Elis won the spot kick after he was brought down at the edge of the penalty area by Galaxy defender Jørgen Skjelvik after a quick restart from DeLaGarza. Elis stepped up and coolly rolled his attempt inside the left post for his fourth goal of the season.
The Galaxy found the winner in the 85th minute off of a corner kick when defender Diego Polenta headed midfielder Jonathan dos Santos’ corner just inside of the back post and just past a diving effort from Willis.
Houston pressed for a second goal throughout the final10 minutes, starting with a brilliant individual effort from Elis in which he stripped his defender and put himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but his shot hit the side netting. Three minutes later, Elis played the role of creator, chipping a ball to forward Mauro Manotas behind the back line, but Manotas’ low shot was saved by goalkeeper David Bingham.
A minute after Polenta’s goal midfielder Memo Rodriguez, who came on in the 70th minute, nearly leveled things with an audacious chip from 60 yards, forcing Bingham to backtrack and leap to snag the shot.
The loss snaps Houston’s five-game unbeaten run to start the year, but despite the result the Dynamo are still out to the best start to a season in club history with 14 points through six games. The Dynamo return home to BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday, April 27 to host Columbus Crew SC for the club’s inaugural End Cancer Night, presented by The University of Texas MDAnderson Cancer Center. Tickets for the match are on sale now, starting at $24, at HoustonDynamo.com or by phone at 713-2764625 (GOAL).