Houston scored the first goal of the game in the first minute. Brad Davis played the ball in off of a corner kick and Alejandro Moreno flicked the ball on as he ran into Joe Cannon. Craig Waibel was standing alone at the back post and scored the goal.
In the 19th minute Dwayne De Rosario missed a chance to make it 2-0. Dan Gargan put on enough pressure and Cannon came out of the goal to force him to shoot his breakaway attempt wide.
The Rapids tied the game in the 21st minute from the foot of Thiago Martins. Terry Cooke played a ball into the right side of the box that put both Nicolas Hernandez and Martins into dangerous positions. Hernandez collected the ball and Martins made a run at the center of goal. Then the Argentine pulled the ball back to the Brazilian who slid and touched the ball under Dynamo goalie Pat Onstad.
Aitor Karanka chased Paul Dalglish 70 yards after a Rapids corner kick to end a Houston counter attack in the 36th minute. The Spaniard won the ball and then was fouled.
Houston scored their second goal of the game in the 43rd minute. Moreno put Dalglish behind the defense and Dalglish tucked the ball past Cannon’s outstretched leg.
Colorado again tied the game in the 55th minute. Cooke swung in a corner kick and Martins who hit the crossbar in the Rapids' last game saw his luck finally change for the better as his header bounced into the goal off the far post.
Houston went back on top in the 73rd minute. Dalglish played a ball into the box that Waibel jumped and headed off the post for his second goal of the game.
Martins almost added an assist to his two goals in the 78th minute. He outhustled the Houston defense to the ball but his cut back to Hernandez got stuck on the foot of the Argentine and never got near the goal.
The Rapids tied the game for the final time in the 88th minute. A ball played into the box was headed up by a Houston player. Substitute Jovan Kirovski fought to get to the ball and flicked it back in front of the goal to Jacob Peterson. The rookie out-jumped two defenders and headed the ball into the net to send the Rapids into jubiliation.
The Rapids will now take on FC Dallas in the Western Conference Semifinal series. Colorado will host the first game this Saturday Oct. 21 at Invesco Field at Mile High. The time of that game will be officially announced later.
HOU – Waibel (Moreno Davis) 1
COL – Martins (Hernandez Cooke) 21
HOU – Dalglish (Moreno) 43
COL – Martins (Cooke) 51
HOU – Waibel (Dalglish) 73
COL – Peterson (Kirovski) 88
Colorado Rapids – Joe Cannon Matt Crawford (Hunter Freeman 52) Aitor Karanka (Jovan Kirovski 78) Pablo Mastroeni Dan Gargan Jacob Peterson Kyle Beckerman Alain Nkong (Daniel Wasson 56) Terry Cooke Nicolas Hernandez Thiago Martins
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Jordan Colin Clark Fabrice Noel Chris Wingert
Houston Dynamo – Pat Onstad Craig Waibel Eddie Robinson Adrian Serioux Wade Barrett Ricardo Clark Dwayne De Rosario Brad Davis Alejandro Moreno Brian Mullan Paul Dalglish (Chris Wondolowski)
Substitutes Not Used: Martin Hutton Ryan Cochrane Kevin Goldthwaite Kelly Gray Stuart Holden Brian Ching
Misconduct Summary: NONE
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assts: Bill Dittmar; Corey Rockwell
4th Official: Richard Heron