The Houston Dynamo hoped to close out their final home game of the season with a win over the visiting Colorado Rapids on Halloween afternoon. Unfortunately it wasn’t a spooky good time for the Dynamo who finished with a 1-0 loss to the Rapids despite a relatively positive showing.
In the opening minutes neither side really threatened to find a goal scoring opportunity. Dynamo Head Coach Tab Ramos utilized a significantly weaker lineup with not much left in the season to play for and as a result there were a lot of giveaways in the midfield. The Rapids weren’t able to capitalize on the errors and the home side were able to control a lot of the possession despite the turnovers.
In the 15th minute Ariel Lassiter earned the Dynamo a good opportunity by drawing a foul just outside of the 18 yard box. Memo Rodríguez stepped up to take the free kick, but the delivery was poor as it sailed well over the top.
The Dynamo began to tighten up some of their possession as they began to look more dangerous going forward. Adam Lundkvist had several crosses that were across goal that weren’t connected with and other combinations with Lassiter were promising, but ineffective.
The Rapids had few opportunities to make their mark on the offensive end in the first half. Dominique Badji had an unexpected volley from distance that forced a relatively easy save and a few minutes later Younes Namli drew a foul a few yards from the 18 yard box, but the set piece was grabbed by Dynamo goalkeeper Michael Nelson.
Griffin Dorsey had an opportunity late in the first half to get the opening goal as he received the ball near the top of the 18 yard box. After a couple of jukes and dribbles he found his way to getting an open shot and forced a diving save by Rapids goalkeeper William Yarbrough.
Both sides would go into the locker room at halftime level at 0-0. The score seemed fair even though the Dynamo had looked the stronger side as they struggled to connect to really look dangerous and work Yarbrough.
Early into the second half we saw more of the same from the first with the Dynamo pushing forward more and controlling the tempo, but were unable to put things together on the offensive side. In the 50th minute, Ian Hoffman sent in a very good cross, but Yarbrough was able to stretch and punch the cross away from danger.
Despite looking the better side, the Dynamo would be the first to concede a goal. Some back and forth possession in Houston’s half saw Younes Namli put Dominique Badji in with his back to goal. A brilliant turn and a back post shot put the visitors up 1-0 in the 58th minute.
Dom Badji picks out the side netting!— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 31, 2021
A big opener puts #Rapids96 in front (and level on points with SKC and Seattle, for now). pic.twitter.com/N06QH8zz6N
The Dynamo continued to press for a goal as the game went on including a quality effort from substitute Oscar Boniek García. Lassiter and the Dynamo thought they had drawn a penalty just over the 70th minute, but the center official said play on.
3 minutes into stoppage and it looked like the Rapids had doubled their lead with substitute Jonathan Lewis breaking passed his defenders and getting in on Michael Nelson. Nelson made the initial save, but spilled it although it was eventually cleared from danger.
After 90 minutes and stoppage time the whistle would blow and the Rapids would get the full three points in Houston. The Dynamo were the stronger, albeit more desperate, side, but couldn’t combine well in the final third to really push for an equalizer after Colorado’s opening goal. The Rapids often sat deep, but defended well and took advantage of their opportunity when it came their way to get the win.
Next up for the Dynamo is the final game of the season as they head up north to our Canadian neighbors to take on CF Montréal to close out the 2021 season.
58’ COL: Dominique Badji (assisted by Younes Namli)
10’ COL: Dominique Badji (yellow card)
29’ HOU: Adalberto Carrasquilla (yellow card)
44’ HOU: Memo Rodríguez (yellow card)
52’ HOU: Joe Corona (yellow card)
75’ COL: Cole Bassett (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (3-4-3): Michael Nelson; Sam Junqua, Tim Parker, Alejandro Fuenmayor; Adam Lundkvist, Joe Corona (73’ Darwin Quintero), Adalberto Carrasquilla (64’ Oscar Boniek García), Ian Hoffman; Memo Rodríguez (89’ Juan Castilla), Ariel Lassiter (73’ Maxi Urruti), Griffin Dorsey (64’ Tyler Pasher)
Colorado Rapids (3-4-3): William Yarbrough; Danny Wilson, Lalas Abubakar (61’ Jonathan Lewis), Steven Beitashour; Auston Trusty, Lucas Esteves, Younes Namli (62’ Diego Rubio), Jack Price; Dominique Badji (70’ Andre Shinyashiki), Michael Barrios (76’ Drew Moor), Mark-Anthony Kaye (62’ Cole Bassett)