The Big Picture
The Colorado Rapids split the points with Houston Dynamo FC on Saturday night after a stoppage-time equalizer from the Lone Star state side found the back of the net. Defender Lalas Abubakar gave the Burgundy Boys the lead in the 49th minute in the 1-1 result.
“I thought tonight we started really positively,” said head coach Robin Fraser after the match. “I think one of the positives was how we started tonight. We were really pretty much on the front foot and we were able to spend some time in there and put some pressure on their goal and it was really a positive start for us.”
Abubakar remained dangerous on all set pieces taken in Houston’s final third, getting a head or foot on the opportunities driven in by Felipe Gutiérrez and Bryan Acosta.
His eventual goal came from a recycled corner that came out to Gutiérrez, who lofted the ball right into the far post for Abubakar. The Ghanian beat his defender to neatly slot the ball past Houston’s Steven Clark.
“When I watch our center backs and our defenders routinely get on the end of set pieces threats all the time, I admire what they do,” said Fraser. “So the key is to be able to be solid defensively, good in distribution and then a threat on set pieces. That's a real triple threat for a center back and I think throughout the year we've had moments where confidence has come and gone based on some of our results and I thought Lalas put in a very confident performance tonight.”
In the 27-foul physical match, midfielder Bryan Acosta saw red in the 80th minute to put the Rapids down to ten men. Houston’s offensive onslaught reached a new level in the waning moments of the game, ultimately finishing one of their chances in the final seconds.
Ferreira’s low strike was on target to give the visiting side a point.
“The mindset, I think, has to be that we can achieve anything, we have to stay together,” said midfielder Collen Warner of the outlook going into the rest of the month. “We're going on the road to some difficult places, every team is hunting for the playoffs. So every game is going to be difficult, but the thing I love about this team is that the heads won't go down too long. And the bond between the team won't break. So we have to be resolute, defensive minded going into these games. We were so close to getting a clean sheet and that's something that we're striving for and I think that if we are able to get clean sheets in these games that puts us in a position to win.”
- Abubakar’s goal marks his fourth of the season, a career high for the defender.
- Gutiérrez’s assist is his first in burgundy.
- Fraser remains undefeated against the Dynamo since being appointed the head coach of the Rapids on August 25, 2019, now posting a record of 4-0-3.
- With their goal against the Dynamo, the Rapids have scored in each of their last ten games. Colorado has scored 20 goals in that span, which marks their longest run of consecutive games with a goal scored since a similar streak of eight games from August 15, 2021, to September 20, 2021.
- The draw extends the Rapids home unbeaten streak to five.
The Rapids will take to the east coast for a ten-day, three-match road trip, first taking on Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. MT. The Burgundy Boys will then face Nashville SC on August 31 before visiting D.C. United to close out the road stint.