HOUSTON – More heroics from Andrew Tarbell could not prevent the Earthquakes from falling to their second defeat of the week, 3-0 to the Houston Dynamo.
The goalkeeper was the stand-out performer as the Earthquakes lost to Sporting Kansas City in the US Open Cup last Wednesday and saved a penalty at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday.
But a first-half header from Alberth Elis was enough to secure the points for Houston, which had plenty of chances but did not extend their lead until substitute Vicente Sanchez scored from close range in the 86th minute.
Tarbell’s shot-stopping ability was a big factor why it took so long for Houston to make the game safe. Making his first MLS start, the 23-year-old dived to his left to keep out Erick Torres’ 49th-minute penalty.
Earthquakes defender Andrés Imperiale initially received a red card from Ricardo Salazar for the foul that led to the spot-kick, but the referee changed his mind after consulting with an assistant, reducing it to yellow. Substitute Mauro Manotas grabbed the Dynamo’s third goal on a breakaway with the last kick of the game.
Despite the loss, the Earthquakes remain in the sixth and final play-off place in the Western Conference standings and next return home to host the Philadelphia Union on August 19.
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