The Houston Dynamo fell in their final game of the season, this time to the Colorado Rapids who qualified for the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season. Colorado came out aggressively, but Houston were able to wear them down and increase possession and chances. However, the Dynamo struggled to break down their back line with the final pass or touch lacking. In stoppage time the Dynamo were punished for seeking a game winner and conceded a late goal on the counter to lose 2-1 at BBVA Stadium.
In the opening minutes Adam Lundqvist earned the Dynamo a corner. The corner was knocked away, but it fell back to Lundqvist who hit the ball cleanly although it was saved. The Rapids countered quickly following the shot, but Houston was able to get back and earn another corner after some strong hold up play by Mauro Manotas.
The Dynamo largely had to settle for counter attacks with the Rapids playing aggressively in the midfield which made it difficult for Houston to connect with their attacking players. Colorado’s higher positioning also saw the Dynamo give the ball away just after they won back possession.
Despite struggling with possession and getting pinned in their own half, Houston got a great chance in the 15th minute. Manotas played a through ball to Darwin Quintero who perfectly picked out the run of Ari Lassiter. Lassiter took a touch into Colorado Rapids’ goalkeeper William Yarbrough. Although the pass was inch perfect the effort was saved and was incorrectly ruled offside anyways.
Houston began to find some rhythm around the 20th minute with Memo Rodríguez playing Darwin Cerén on goal, but Cerén tried to square the ball across instead of one touching it into the net resulting in a Dynamo corner. The following corners saw the Dynamo increase possession and pressure inside Colorado’s half of the field, but they weren’t able to get the game’s opening goal.
Around the 30th minute mark both teams seem to have settled into quick attacking play with the midfield largely bypassed. The Rapids looked a little tired from their early high press which gave the Dynamo some room to increase their possession in Colorado’s half. Houston often utilized the speed and positioning of Ari Lassiter who often squared the ball into the box while the Rapids would quickly transition the ball to their attacking players after winning back possession.
Lundqvist got free on the left wing of the field just before halftime. He put the ball through his defenders legs and raced towards the end line. He perfectly picked out Lassiter, but Lassiter’s first time shot was right at the keeper.
The Dynamo began the second half by winning possession in the midfield and playing quickly, but they were not able find the final pass to really get a quality chance on goal. In the 58th minute Lassiter saw himself free after a self pass around his defender, but just as he neared the top of the 18 yard box he was knocked clear off the ball. The crowd at BBVA Stadium wanted a foul, but the referee signaled that it was shoulder to shoulder.
In the 61st minute the Rapids got the opening goal following a counter attack. Marko Marić made the initial save on the Colorado forward, but halftime substitute Younces Namli was there to put the rebound in the net.
YOUNES. NAMLI. He's not going to miss from there! pic.twitter.com/f8UALY3rxx— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) November 9, 2020
Manotas thought he equalized just a couple of minutes later. Lundqvist picked out the Columbian who smashed the ball into the net. The crowd roared, but the flag went up calling Lunqvist offside.
Mauro puts it away but it's called back for "offside" pic.twitter.com/WhjBbPl0Qs— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) November 9, 2020
However, Manotas could not be denied a second time. In the 69th minute a nice give-and-go between Cerén and Manotas set up Manotas with the equalizer which went through the legs of Yarbrough.
Oscar Boniek García almost the Dynamo a game winner in the 86th minute. A nice run down the middle and a give-and- go put him 1v1 with Yarbrough, but Yarbrough was able to get just get a foot on the attempt that was destined for the back post.
The Rapids would get the game winner in stoppage time though. The Dynamo were committed to trying to get the last goal and had most of their players in advanced positions on the field. The Rapids were able to counter attack quickly and easily with Diego Rubio being released. Maynor Figueroa tried to make the tackle, but it sent Rubio square on goal and he put the ball in.
Overall, it was a good and entertaining effort by the Dynamo. They looked threatening at times and were able to play themselves back into the game. However, they struggled to break down the Rapids’ back line and were punished on the counter attack too often.
61’ COL: Younces Namli
69’ HOU: Mauro Manotas
90’+3’ COL: Diego Rubio (assisted by Cole Bassett)
42’ HOU: Maynor Figueroa (yellow card)
56’ HOU: Darwin Cerén (yellow card)
59’ HOU: Víctor Cabrera (yellow card)
90’+1’ COL: Lalas Abubakar (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundqvist, Maynor Figueroa, Víctor Cabrera (65’ Alejandro Fuenmayor), Zarek Valentin; Memo Rodríguez (85’ Marcelo Palomino), Matías Vera (65’ Oscar Boniek García), Darwin Cerén; Darwin Quintero (39’ Niko Hansen), Mauro Manotas, Ariel Lassiter (85’ Sam Junqua)
Colorado Rapids (4-3-3): William Yarbrough; Sam Vines, Lalas Abubakar, Auston Trusty, Jeremy Kelly (81’ Keegan Rosenberry); Nicolás Mezquida (HT Younces Namli), Cole Bassett, Kellyn Acosta (HT Jack Price); Andre Shinyashiki, Braian Galván (65’ Diego Rubio), Jonathan Lewis (64’ Nicolas Benezet)