The Houston Dynamo entered the match going 0-6-2 in games away from BBVA Compass Stadium during the regular MLS season and they hoped to gain on momentum from draws at FC Dallas and at the LA Galaxy along with a win in North Carolina during the US Open Cup. Their opponent, the Colorado Rapids, entered the match as the league bottom in points, but they have put up a decent home record of 5-3-1.
Early in the game as each side was figuring the other out, Cubo Torres drew a foul by center back Mike da Fonte resulting in a yellow card. The foul itself wasn’t much and Cubo made enough of it to see a card pulled on his opponent, but it put pressure on the Rapids player to not be overly physical. Following the card, the Rapids had a pair of dangerous crosses, neither of which amounted to a shot on goal, but the Dynamo were able to counter with their own chance as Mauro Manotas took a pass into space and delivered a low shot with his left foot. Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard had no problem blocking the shot and the play ended up with a corner for the Dynamo.
There was an early injury scare for the Dynamo as DaMarcus Beasley went down following a dangerous set piece by the Colorado Rapids. Mekeil Williams crashed into Beasley on the play with the ball bouncing around before being smothered by Joe Willis who was a surprise start in goal for Houston.
The Colorado Rapids opened the scoring in the 21st minute with Dillon Serna able to pick out Kevin Doyle who calmly put the ball passed Willis in the corner of the net. On the play A. J. DeLaGarza stabbed in at Mohammed Saeid who was also being closed down by Adolfo Machado which opened up Serna on the right side of the field and opened up Doyle in the center. Doyle placed the ball perfectly into the side of the net to put the home team up 1-0.
10 minutes later in the 31st minute, the Rapids were knocking on the door again with a counter attack led by Dominique Badji. The Rapids had a numbers advantage of 4 attackers against 2 defenders and Willis in goal as Badji pushed the ball over to Dillon Serna whose shot was saved by Willis who was rushing out of goal to cut the angle down.
For most of the first half the Dynamo looked like their usual selves on the road with huge gaps in the midfield caused by the midfielders not supporting or pushing up the field often enough to help the forwards. The last 5 minutes of the first half, the Dynamo started to pick up the pace and make the passes they do at home like long switches. The midfielders also joined the attack evidenced by a blast by Juan David Cabezas which forced a full stretch save by Howard.
In stoppage time Howard made another brilliant save as Cubo Torres sent in a ball with pace which found the head of Andrew Wenger, but Howard was able to redirect it out for a corner. The Dynamo would get one back in the final minute of stoppage with A. J. DeLaGarza sending in a cross to Cubo Torres who equalized the game just before the halftime whistle. The cross itself wasn’t too impressive, but Cubo was able to get himself in front of his defender to beat Tim Howard from inside the 6 yard box.
The Rapids came out strong as they answered Houston’s halftime equalizer with a goal of their own. Kevin Doyle played a perfect through ball to Dominque Badji who easily beat Leonardo, and then Badji went around Joe Willis who came out, and played a ball across the mouth of goal for Marlon Hairston to tap in.
In the 54th minute the Dynamo thought they had a penalty as Andrew Wenger was brought down in the box after a brilliant through ball by Juan David Cabezas. The ref did not believe so as he pointed for a goal kick. Moments later things got heated as Mike da Fonte put a forearm into Cubo Torres’s head as the two were jostling for position to head the ball. Both teams got up in arms about the foul, but excitement would soon die down.
The Dynamo would have a good chance to equalize in the 63rd minute. Cubo Torres had the ball down the left side of the field near the top of the box. He attempted to square a pass to Mauro Manotas, but the pass was just behind him and it fell to DeLaGarza. DeLaGarza had a nice fake to get open for a shot on his left foot, but it went over the top of goal for a goal kick.
Despite the Dynamo finding some rhythm, Colorado was able to again capitalize on defensive lapses. Doyle was able to pull the defenders to him as he had the ball and appeared to be going at goal before he slid the ball over to Hairston who was able to get the ball over the rushing Joe Willis to make it 3-1 to the home side.
With things fairly desperate for the Dynamo, Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera opted to bring on the former Colorado Rapid Vicente Sanchez on for Ricardo Clark essentially playing a 4-2-4 formation with no true holding midfielder.
Unfortunately for the visiting Dynamo they were unable to close the gap as defensive lapses ended up costing them despite playing improved soccer after the 40th minute. They fell 1-3 by the final whistle to the league’s 2nd worst offense (going into the match). The Dynamo will want to put this game in the rear view mirror as they take on the Montreal Impact at home next week.
4’ Mike da Fonte (COL), Yellow card
82’ Sam Hamilton (COL), Yellow card
21’ Kevin Doyle (COL)
45’+5’ Cubo Torres (HOU)
48’ Marlon Hairston (COL)
69’ Marlon Hairston (COL)
Tonight's Dynamo starting XI: Willis; DeLaGarza, Machado, Leonardo, Beasley; Clark ©, Cabezas, B. García; Manotas, Torres, Wenger #COLvHOU pic.twitter.com/rEetLlCMMJ— #VoteDynamo (@HoustonDynamo) July 2, 2017
Bench against @HoustonDynamo : Hamilton, Gordon, MacMath, Perez, Ford, Calvert, Watts.#Rapids96 | #COLvHOU pic.twitter.com/Mgp56oRWb6— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) July 2, 2017
Montreal Impact on Wednesday July 5th at 7:30 PM at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX.