HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Alberth Elis’ header in the 21st minute was all the Houston Dynamo would need in a 3-nil shutout of the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The win gives the Dynamo 37 points on the season and puts them in a first place tie with Sporting Kansas City and the Portland Timbers for first place in the Western Conference.
Saturday saw the return of the full front line of Elis, Erick Torres and Romell Quioto to the line-up and the first tally came from Elis on a beautiful corner kick from Boniek Garcia. The corner was set up after a Quioto shot was punched out of play by Andrew Tarbell. The goal was the seventh of the season for Elis.
“Guys were focused, guys played with tenacity; we came back to what the Houston Dynamo are,” Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera said after the win. “You know, a team that goes forward and attacks, creates problems, and it was very exciting.”
The Dynamo held off a few equalizing attempts from the Earthquakes, but fatigue began to sit in for San Jose as they played a US Open Cup match earlier in the week.
“I think fatigue is always a factor especially if you have a midweek game and especially in the heat and with the travel,” San Jose head coach Chris Leitch said.
The Dynamo added to their lead late in the match. In the 86th minute Elis, found Vicente Sanchez on a low cross inside the six-yard box that beat Tarbell on the far-side post for his first goal of the season.
Near the end of stoppage time Sanchez stayed with a ball that Tarbell attempted to clear. Off the deflection Sanchez sent a shot that rode the goal line until Mauro Manota finished the play off with his eighth goal of the season.
The Dynamo are now unbeaten in six straight matches and will look to continue that streak on the road when they face the Vancouver Whitecaps next weekend.
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio