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Houston Dynamo 1, LA Galaxy 1 | 2020 MLS Match Recap

A Cristian Pavon golazo was cancelled out by a second-half strike from Mauro Manotas, as the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo settled for a 1-1 draw before a sellout crowd at BBVA Stadium. 

The match served as Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s official Galaxy debut, and also was Tab Ramos’s competitive debut as Houston’s head coach.

The Galaxy rushed out to a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute, when Pavon scored a jaw-dropping curler from atop the 18-yard box. The Argentine winger collected a long punt from his goalkeeper David Bingham, dribbled past several Houston defenders and left Dynamo netminder Marko Maric with little chance on a bullet to the far post.

But the Dynamo stayed resilient and drew level in the 54th minute, when Manotas gathered a through ball from right back Zarek Valentin. The Colombian striker hit a low, driven shot to the far post and past Bingham that made it 1-1.

There were several promising chances aside from the goals, including a header from Galaxy winger Aleksandar Katai that rattled off the near post in the 2nd minute. LA midfielder Joe Corona also couldn’t capitalize on a golden opportunity in the 66th minute, with his first effort blocked off the goal line by Dynamo center back Aljaz "Kiki" Struna.

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Goals

  • 13' – LA – Cristian Pavon | WATCH
  • 54' – HOU – Mauro Manotas | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Great hype surrounded Chicharito’s MLS debut with the Galaxy, but the Mexican striker couldn’t find a goal or an assist. His industrious work rate helped LA, but there’s hope for a greater impact. From a Dynamo perspective, this is a solid building block as the Tab Ramos era officially gets underway. They outplayed LA for stretches, and accomplished that without the attacking forces of Alberth Elis and Darwin Quintero.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Cristian Pavon, my word. His golazo spread quickly on social media, and provided a particularly good omen for how his 2020 season could go. A confident, in-form Pavon is a scary thought for opposing defenders.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Aljaz Struna gets the nod here for his efforts in corralling Chicharito and being an adept passer out of the back. His goal-line block of Joe Corona in the 66th minute was monstrous, too.

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