The first half can be described with five words: a dull half of soccer.
Neither team was really able to find any flow to their game and while the Dynamo had the better of possession, they were able to convert that in to scoring chances, let alone goals. Houston struggled the entire half to link up with the attack as Je-Vaughan Watson, playing in place of the injured Geoff Cameron, was virtually invisible.
It wasn't that Watson wasn't moving around and playing hard, he just was unable to exert any kind of influence on the attack. You could really feel the absence of Cameron in the central midfield.
Credit to the Rapids though for having a clear strategy for the match. The Rapids were extremely compact and organized, clogging up the passing lanes and not allowing the Dynamo any space at all to operate or put more than a couple passes together. Subsequently, the match was played primarily in the midfield and offered very little in the way of intriguing offensive soccer.
No doubt the Rapids were parking the bus and hoping to steal a goal on the counter, but that's not really a bad thing. If nothing else, it was a solid 45 minutes in which the Dynamo had to deal with a disciplined formation designed to prevent them from getting the type of space they saw against DC United. Good experience for situations they are bound to see as the season continues.
Rapids forward Omar Cummings left the match right before stoppage time after picking up an ankle injury in a 50/50 challenge with Lovel Palmer.
Second half started much the same as the first, though the Dynamo did make a couple inroads in to the final third of the Rapids. Houston definitely picked up the pace, likely on instructions from Kinnear, and seemed to have a but more urgency to their runs and passes. They still couldn't break through the Rapids defense, but instead of turning the ball over before nearing the box, the Dynamo began to get closer and closer to Matt Pickens' goal. A tactical switch of Colin Clark and Brad Davis (exchanging wings) seemed to help open up things a bit for Houston as well.
Brian Ching entered the match in the 62nd minute for Cam Weaver, who was carrying a yellow, and while the Dynamo offense started to look a bit better, still not luck on breaking the scoreless tie. Will Bruin's hustle nearly created the match's first goal, when he hurried Matt Pickens who fumbled the ball away to Bruin at the top of the box. Bruin's long chip from a tough angle hit harmlessly in to the side netting, but it was a great individual effort from the young forward.
At last in the 71st minute, former Rapid Colin Clark found the back of the net to put his new team in front. Clark was setup by a nice pass from Je-Vaghan Watson, who found him in the box and utilized a bit of screen from Scott Palguta to beat Pickens at the near post. It's the first goal of the season for Clark.
It only took three minutes for Colorado to answer. An over-aggressive Tally Hall misjudged a free kick from Jaime Smith and the Rapids equalized very cheaply. It was nothing special, a generic shot in to the box, but Hall came off his lane entirely to fast and the ball went over his outstretched arm. A tough goal to allow and the first really glaring mistake by Tally Hall since the pre-season.
Sergio Koke entered the match in the 77th minute, replacing Will Bruin and immediately earned a corner for the Dynamo. Ching crumbled to the ground after a hard cut on the corner but was able to re-enter the match after testing his leg along the sideline.
Colorado's game winner in the 85th minute had a sick feeling of inevitably about it. After several forays in to the Houston box, sloppy defending allowed defender Scott Palguta to put Colorado ahead with a hard low show that beat Tally Hall.
Nothing more to say than it's a incredibly frustrating result against a team that had no Conor Casey and lost Cummings in the first half to injury. After several weeks of taking clear steps forward, Houston took a lurching step back tonight.