The Houston Dynamo hoped to take down the 2nd place in the West Colorado Rapids Saturday night in Houston, TX. Interim manager Wade Barrett had been criticized during his time for not fully utilizing the offense which at times had looked stagnant. In the last few matches Barrett had gotten his attackers more involved, specifically Mauro Manotas, but last week the Dynamo failed to register a single shot on target. This week Barrett made only a minor change in his starting XI as he elected to start Cristian Maidana over Andrew Wenger.
The opening minutes of the game featured Colorado possessing the majority of the ball inside the Dynamo half, but with them unable to break down the defense and create quality opportunities. The Dynamo were limited with their opening attacking drives to quick counter attacks didn’t equate to much. Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis, filling in for the injured Tyler Deric, nearly gave Dynamo supporters a heart attack with after deciding to fake Rapids forward Dominique Badji out with a sweet move rather than clearing it right away.
The Rapids would get on the score sheet first as Badji took advantage of a great pass by Dillon Powers which Joe Willis was hesitant to go after. Badji then coolly put the ball back post despite Willis appearing to get a hand to the ball which put the visitors up 1-0 in the 12th minute. The Dynamo hoped to respond after they earned a corner kick in the next minute, but the short corner which led to a cross couldn’t find the intended target defender Jalil Anibaba.
Sebastian Le Toux got free in the Dynamo 18 yard box around the 30 minute mark but Ricardo Clark was able to get in the way of the ball before Le Toux could turn towards goal. The Dynamo played Mauro Manotas a breakaway pass, but was fouled before he could get free. The team tried to play Manotas a quick free kick which would’ve put the young striker towards goal, but the center referee called the play back much to the chagrin of the crowd.
Mauro Manotas would equalize for Houston just before stoppage time after taking a cross from Sheanon Williams and finishing it one time from the middle of the 18 yard box. The Colorado Rapids nearly answered Houston’s tying goal with one of their own as Dominique Badji’s counter-attacking run saw him dodge a tackle and beat several Houston defenders. Badji’s final shot however was steered away from danger by Joe Willis which earned Colorado a corner kick.
The two sides would go into halftime even at 1 with most of the action in the half coming within the last few minutes. Both sides battled hard inside the midfield to deny opportunities for offense for the other side.
Houston came out of the locker room to start the 2nd half with a lot of energy as “Chaco” Maidana released a fantastic through pass to Mauro Manotas who had a chance to take a shot against Tim Howard. Manotas elected to pass the ball to another attacking player, but the pass was a poor one and that ended the attack.
Although Houston enjoyed the majority of close chances on goal in the early 2nd half minutes, it would be Colorado who would take the lead thanks to another Dominique Badji goal. The defense was just not tuned in as Dillon Powers sent a fantastic through ball to Badji who beat Joe Willis 1v1 to put the Rapids up 2-1 in the 54th minute.
Shkelzen Gashi would make it 3-1 for the Rapids as the Dynamo were caught after they didn’t get a foul called in their favor. Gashi’s low shot beat the outstretched Willis in the 79th minute. The Dynamo would immediately answer on a free kick as Mauro Manotas was brought down just outside the 18 yard box. Manotas’s first kick was deflected off the wall and beat a stunned Tim Howard.
Although the Dynamo pressed well for an equalizer towards the end of the match, it never came as the Rapids would win 3-2 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The next game for Houston is Wednesday, October 12th at Seattle to play the Sounders. With only 3 games left in the season the team will need to play well to avoid finishing last place in the Western Conference.