Mauro Manotas netted a brace and the Houston Dynamo downed defending Open Cup champions Sporting Kansas City 3-1 at home Wednesday night to advance to the Quarterfinals of the tournament for the second straight year.
Manotas got on the end of Abdoulie Mansally’s cross in the 7th minute. Alex doubled the lead in the second half when he headed home a cross from Andrew Wenger. Former Dynamo captain Brad Davis pulled one back for Sporting six minutes later just after coming on as a sub. Mantis put the game away by finishing off a through ball from Boniek Garcia with less than 10 minutes left.
Kansas City dominated possession, but Houston outshot Kansas City 17-13 and had a 5-3 advantage in shots on goal.
The two teams met last year in the Quarterfinals when Sporting overcame an early one-goal deficit to beat the Dynamo 3-1 en route to their third Open Cup title.
The Dynamo will face in-state rivals FC Dallas in the Quarterfinals on June 20 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston won the first meeting 5-0 and the teams played to a 1-1 draw during the MLS regular season.
Houston left back Mansally crossed the ball from the left side and picked out the 20-year-old Colombian. It was the first assist for Mansally in a Houston uniform after he was acquired from Real Salt Lake in February.
Cristian Maidana nearly doubled the Houston lead soon after the opening goal, but his chipped shot sailed wide to the right. Kevin Ellis had the best chance of the half for Sporting just before the break, but his shot to the upper corner was pushed away by Houston keeper Joe Willis.
Wenger kept the ball alive with a header back across the net ten minutes after halftime and Alex was at the right place at the right time to head it home and double the lead.
Davis, the Dynamo all-time leader in games, starts, minutes and assists after nine years, came on for Kansas City in the 58th minute and immediately made an impact. Diego Rubio’s attempted cross was blocked but the ball fell right in front of the Houston goal where Davis tapped it in.
Sporting continued to press for an equalizer but Houston finally broke through in the 84th minutes. Garcia and Leon Miranda played a little give-and-go at the top of the box and Garcia slipped a perfectly weighted ball right on the foot of Manotas, who calmly slotted it away to complete his brace.
The two goals by Manotas are the third and fourth of his Open Cup career. He scored the lone goal in the 1-0 win against the Colorado Rapids in the fifth round last year and opened up the scoring in this year’s tournament in Houston’s 4-0 against San Antonio FC on June 15.
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