Rapids Crash Out of MLS Cup Playoffs With 3-1 Loss at Houston in Conference Final

HOUSTON (Sunday Nov. 5 2006)- The Colorado Rapids lost 3-1 to the Houston Dynamo in the Western Conference Championship tonight. It was the second straight and fourth overall appearance for the Rapids in the Western Conference title game.

(To watch video clips of all the goals and other highlights from Sunday's match CLICK HERE).

In the third minute the Rapids were given a penalty kick when Adrian Serioux handled a Kyle Beckerman corner kick in the box. Jovan Kirovski stepped up and blasted the ball into the back of the net as Pat Onstad dove to the wrong side to put the Rapids up 1-0 in the early going.

In the fifth minute Dwayne De Rosario was lucky to avoid a booking when he ran over Colorado’s Alain Nkong well after the Cameroonian had gotten rid of the ball.

Paul Dalglish equalized in the 11th minute. Dalglish received a short pass from De Rosario and scored as Joe Cannon rushed to make the save.

Colorado gave up another goal to Dalglish in the 20th minute. A cross from Brad Davis went past Cannon’s far post where Brian Mullan one-timed the ball back across to Dalglish who headed the ball in.

Kirovski had a chance at the tying goal in the 24th minute. Beckerman beat two Dynamo players on the touchline before dribbling down the endline and crossing to Kirovski’s head. The former Champion’s League winner saw his header go just over the bar.

Cannon kept it a one goal game in the 38th minute with a big save. Brian Ching was dribbling in the Rapids’ penalty area and the all-star goalkeeper came out to diffuse the opportunity.

In the 44th minute Nicolas Hernandez got open in the Houston penalty area with a Beckerman pass but his shot after a cutback went wide.

Mullan scored Houston’s third goal on the night in the 71st minute. Substitute Alejandro Moreno placed a perfect cross to Mullan who slid between Colorado defenders to score the goal.

Cannon kept Colorado close in the 81st minute when he made a save on Ching but the Rapids couldn't find their offense and despite some late pressure found themselves on the losing end at the final whistle.

Scoring Summary:
COL – Kirovski (penalty kick) 3
HOU – Dalglish (De Rosario Clark) 11
HOU – Dalglish (Davis Mullan) 21
HOU – Mullan (Moreno Davis) 71

Colorado Rapids – Joe Cannon Matt Crawford (Dan Gargan 46) Aitor Karanka Mike Petke (Jacob Peterson 74) Chris Wingert Alain Nkong (Thiago Martins 62) Kyle Beckerman Pablo Mastroeni Nicolas Hernandez Clint Mathis Jovan Kirovski
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Jordan Daniel Wasson Colin Clark Fabrice Noel

Houston Dynamo – Pat Onstad Craig Waibel Eddie Robinson Adrian Serioux Wade Barrett Brian Mullan Ricardo Clark Dwayne De Rosario Brad Davis Brian Ching Paul Dalglish (Alejandro Moreno 68)
Substitutes Not Used: Zach Wells Ryan Cochrane Kevin Goldthwaite Kelly Gray Stuart Holden Chris Wondolowski

Misconduct Summary:
COL – Mathis (Caution) 16
HOU – Clark (Caution) 17

Referee: Brian Hall
Referee's Assts: Rob Fereday; Chris Strickland
4th Official: Jair Marrufo
Attendance: 23107