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Heat win over the Houston Dutch Lions

Heat win over the Houston Dutch Lions

They play Houston on Saturday

By Zach Smith Laredo Morning Times

Dan Johns knew he was due for a big game.

Before the Laredo Heat kicked off against the Houston Dutch Lions Thursday night, Heat head coach Daniel Galvan asked the striker for two goals. Johns told the coach he’d score four.

That’s exactly what he did.

Johns scored all four goals as the Heat beat the Dutch Lions 4-2 on the road to take over sole possession for second place in the Mid-South division. The four goals in the game are as many as the Heat have scored in all other games this season, while Johns has scored five goals in four games since making his debut against Midland on May 30.

Laredo came out with its fourth different starting line up in four games, with Alex Mullett making his debut on a five-man back line. Honduran Gustavo Alvarado came on as a second half substitute for his Heat debut.

It was all Laredo for most of the first half. Dan Johns got Laredo on the board early when he was picked out on the back post. The Heat continued to press for a second goal, and Chuy Cortes put a shot just over the crossbar five minutes later.

Houston had its first chance of the game when Heat goalkeeper Jose Ortega went for the save on the edge of the box and missed, leaving the goal open. Luckily for Laredo, the open header went just wide.

But the Dutch Lions kept up with the pressure. A long ball over the top bounced over Ortega’s head and looked headed for goal.

Adam Butler was on the line to head the ball out of play but it didn’t go too far before Houston defender George Kelley blasted home the equalizer.

Johns put the Heat up once again less than thee minutes later when he headed home a beautiful cross into the box from Cortes.

Houston pressed for another goal for the last five minutes of the half but the hybrid five-man back line for Laredo worked to perfection and sniffed out any threat.

Johns completed the hat trick early in the second half with  a howler from outside the box and scored again 10 minutes later when Cortes passed the ball to Johns in front of net where he calmly touched it past the keeper.

Bryan Estrada was shown a red card after a hard foul in the box with 20 minutes left in the game. Ortega saved a penalty kick against Mississippi a week ago but couldn’t channel that same luck, and Jorge Contreras pulled the Dutch Lions within two goals.

Down a man but up two goals, Laredo sat back for the rest of the game. Houston had two corner kicks and three free kicks from just outside the box in the last 15 minutes, but the Heat had the bus parked in front of the net.

This was the first complete game the Heat have played all year. Other than the  first  night  of the regular season which was ended 0-0 at halftime due to rain and lighting, Laredo had allowed a goal from the run of play in each second half.

The Heat take on the Dutch Lions again Saturday at 7 p.m. before heading to Albuquerque on Thursday to end their seven-game road trip against the division leading Sockers next Saturday night. They finish the season with five straight at home.

Follow @Zach_Smith_ on Twitter for the latest news on the Heat and other local sports.

Email: ZSmith@LMTOnline.com