Defender Philippe Senderos scored two goals and Alberth Elis notched his ninth goal of the season to lead the Houston Dynamo to a 3-0 victory over Minnesota United FC on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
Senderos, the hero of Houston’s dramatic 2-2 tie with Los Angeles FC on Tuesday night when he scored in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time, has now scored four goals in six games this season.
Joe Willis finished with one save while garnering his second shutout of the season and the 13th of his career.
With the victory, Houston (7-6-4, 25 points) leapfrogged the Vancouver Whitecaps, who host the Chicago Fire later Saturday night, into sixth place and the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Bobby Shuttleworth had six saves for Minnesota United (6-11-1, 19 points), who lost their seventh straight road game and fell to 1-8-0 on the road this season. The Loons, playing their third game in eight days, attempted just five shots compared to 22 for the Dynamo and maintained possession for just 43.2 percent of the game.
The 33-year-old Senderos, who played for Switzerland in three World Cups, gave the Dynamo a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute. Elis headed Romell Quioto’s corner kick from the left side of the goal into the center of the 6-yard box, where the 6-foot-3 Senderos whirled and roofed in the rebound over Shuttleworth.
Senderos made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute when he cut to the center of the 6-yard box unmarked and easily headed Quioto’s corner kick into the net.
Two minutes later, the Dynamo nearly made it 3-0, but defender Adam Lundkvist’s left-footed blast from about 5 yards outside the penalty box hit the crossbar. Houston midfielder Tomas Martinez also drilled a shot off the crossbar in the 88th minute.
Elis closed out the scoring in the second minute of second-half stoppage time when he picked up a loose ball in the middle of the penalty box and fired a shot past Shuttleworth.
The Loons, coming in off a 4-3 home win over Toronto FC on Wednesday, missed a chance to take an early lead when Rasmus Schuller hit Christian Ramirez cutting in wide open from the left side of the box. However, Willis got a hand on Ramirez’s right-footed shot to deflect it wide.
—Field Level Media