Rapids' 2-1 Loss to Houston Tough to Swallow

HOUSTON TX (Saturday May 10 2008) – The Colorado Rapids were unable to overcome a controversial penalty call late in the game as they lost to the Houston Dynamo 2-1 Saturday night at Robertson Stadium.
(To watch video highlights from this match click here).
(Update: The Rapids Reserves also had a weekend to forget in Houston as on Sunday the defending MLS Reserve Division Champions suffered their first loss since the year 2006 dropping a match to the Houston Reserves. For that story click here).

In a hotly contested game featuring many cards Omar Cummings scored the Rapids’ goal that tied the game before the 87th minute judgment of a hand ball in the penalty area led to the Colorado loss.

Bouna Coundoul had to be ready from the get go as in the second minute he was forced to punch away a Brian Mullan cross from the right side.

Christian Gomez took the Rapids' first shot on goal. In the ninth minute the Argentine made a 50-yard run to the top of the Houston penalty area but his shot went right to Pat Onstad in the Dynamo goal.

Brian Ching broke in on the Rapids’ goal in the 18th minute but Coundoul raced out and hurried the Hawaiian and forced his shot to sail over the goal.

In the 34th minute Cummings forced another save out of Onstad with a long range shot after receiving a pass from Tom McManus.

Houston scored the first goal of the game in the 43rd minute. Stuart Holden passed a through ball to Ching who was waiting as Coundoul came out of his net to challenge for it but the Rapids' goalkeeper missed the ball. Ching then had an open goal to shoot at and hit home for the lead.

Bobby Boswell saved a potential goal from Cummings in the 59th minute. The speedy Jamaican took a pass from Jacob Peterson and cut to his left foot only to have the former DC United man block his shot.

Facundo Erpen was looking for his second goal in as many games in the 68th minute but his header off a Gomez free kick went over the Houston net.

Later that minute Cummings became the first Rapids player to score two goals this season. Gomez recording his third assist in as many games fed the forward and he outraced his marker to score the equalizer to the far post.

Houston then took the lead again in the 87th minute from a controversial penalty kick. Tonight’s referee Tim Weyland at first judged Ugo Ihemelu to have trapped the ball with his chest but then he pointed to the spot after several seconds of hesitation. Dwayne De Rosario stepped up and scored the spot kick.

Colin Clark had the Rapids’ best opportunity for a tying goal in stoppage time but Onstad fell on the Fort Collins native’s strong shot from inside the penalty area.

The Rapids will have a short week before taking on RealSaltLake on Thursday in a nationally televised game on ESPN2. The kickoff for the first Rocky Mountain Cup match of the year is set for 7:30 p.m. MT at Dick’s SportingGoodsPark and the match will be a doubleheader with a Women's Soccer Celebration featuring the Ft. Collins Force taking on the Washington Freedom on the pitch before the Rapids game.

Scoring Summary:
HOU – Ching (Holden) 43
COL – Cummings (Gomez) 68
HOU – De Rosario (penalty kick) 87

Lineups:
Colorado Rapids – Bouna Coundoul Kosuke Kimura Facundo Erpen Ugo Ihemelu Jordan Harvey (Colin Clark 88) Jacob Peterson Nick LaBrocca Pablo Mastroeni Christian Gomez (Mehdi Ballouchy 81) Omar Cummings Tom McManus (Herculez Gomez 65)
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Sharpe Jose Luis Burciaga Jr. Rafael Gomes Kelly Gray

Houston Dynamo – Pat Onstad Richard Mulrooney Bobby Boswell Eddie Robinson (Patrick Ianni 75) Wade Barrett Brian Mullan Ricardo Clark Dwayne De Rosario Stuart Holden (Corey Ashe 71) Franco Caraccio (Geoff Cameron 65) Brian Ching
Substitutes Not Used: Tony Caig Kyle Brown Craig Waibel Chris Wondolowski

Misconduct Summary:
HOU – Mulrooney (Caution) 28
HOU – Clark (Caution) 35
COL – Harvey (Caution) 41
COL – McManus (Caution) 44
COL – Ihemelu (Caution) 86
COL – McManus (Ejection) 89

Referee: Tim Weyland
Referees Assts.: Fabio Tovar; Kyle Bourne
Fourth Official: Fernando Galvan