From the sultry summer conditions to their lively performance with nothing to play for, the Houston Dynamo did their level best to make life difficult for the LA Galaxy on Decision Day presented by AT&T.
Just like they did in their season-ending clash a year ago, La Naranja gave the visitors fits on Sunday, twice rallying to level matters before kicking on to grab a 4-2 win that lands a hammer blow to the Galaxy's aim of a top-half finish in the Western Conference's playoff places, which would ensure them at least one home game in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic got LA off to a dream start in the 9th minute, lofting a brilliant chipped finish over Tyler Deric and inside the far post from the top left corner of the Houston penalty box. But Southern California native Christian Ramirez equalized in first-half injury time, stabbing home from close range after Alberth Elis slashed open the Galaxy defense and slapped a low shot off the base of the post.
Cristian Pavon pushed the Galaxy back in front with a firm finish at the far post early in the second half, only for Elis to draw the Dynamo level again eight minutes later when he was left inexplicably unmarked at the back stick. Ramirez bagged his second after Elis found him with an endline cutback in the 83rd, dooming LA to their second disastrous result in as many weeks, with Memo Rodriguez tapping in an injury-time exclamation point to pour more salt in the wound.