For the second time in three years, the Colorado Rapids fell at the hands of a Western Conference foe in the Desert Diamond Cup final. A pair of goals by Romell Quioto gave the Houston Dynamo a 2-0 victory over the Rapids on Saturday night in Tucson, Arizona.
The Rapids got off to yet another fast start at Kino Sports Complex, controlling the majority of possession in the first half but were unable to capitalize on any of their chances.
Jared Watts was first to rattle the Dynamo, sending a header off the crossbar from a Dillon Powers corner kick. Four minutes later, Dominique Badji sprinted past the Houston backline but his low cross was swiftly intercepted by Tyler Deric.
Just before the 30-minute mark, Micheal Azira found himself with some space in the offensive third. The center midfielder sent a screamer towards goal, forcing a fine save by Deric. A few plays later, Eric Miller sent a cross to the box that was redirected towards goal by Marlon Hairston but once again, Deric was there to keep the Rapids off the scoresheet.
The Dynamo had a pair of half-chances of their own throughout the first 45 minutes but were finally able to break through after a defensive miscue by the Rapids. The ball was turned over in the middle of the field, Alex quickly played Quioto through and the Honduras international buried a left-footed strike past Zac MacMath at the near post, taking the lead into halftime.
Less than a minute after the restart, Hairston sent a nifty ball in between the Dynamo’s center backs but Kevin Doyle's attempt went straight into the body of the Houston keeper.
A bit of back-and-forth ensued until Quioto doubled the Dynamo’s lead following another poor giveaway by Colorado. Fresh off the bench, Boniek Garcia quickly found a streaking Alberth Elis down the right wing, who was able to send a low ball across the face of goal for Quioto to calmly tap in.
The Rapids kept pressing from all angles, including a number of Marc Burch crosses and a few chances by Doyle and Badji in the final minutes of the contest. Despite the loss, the Rapids finished second in the 2017 Desert Diamond Cup with a 2-1-1 record.
The focus now shifts to the 2017 Home Opener against the New England Revolution next Saturday, March 4 (4:00 p.m. MT) at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. (TICKETS)
Colorado Rapids 0-2 Houston Dynamo
Desert Diamond Cup; Kino North Stadium, Tucson, AZ
Saturday, February 25, 2017
HOU: Romell Quioto (Alex) 43’
HOU: Romell Quioto (Alberth Elis, Boniek Garcia) 67’
COL: Axel Sjöberg (caution) 44’
HOU: Alberth Elis (caution) 61'
COL: Marc Burch (caution) 84'
Rapids: Zac MacMath; Eric Miller, Jared Watts, Axel Sjöberg, Marc Burch; Micheal Azira, Sam Cronin; Marlon Hairston, Dillon Powers, Dominique Badji; Kevin Doyle.
Dynamo: Tyler Deric; A.J. DeLaGarza, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley (Dylan Remick 66’); Ricardo Clark (Boniek Garcia 65’), Juan David Cabezas (Eric Alexander HT), Alex; Romell Quioto (Vicente Sanchez 77’), Alberth Elis (Eric Wenger 76’), Erick Torres (Mauro Manotas 77’).
Referee: Baldomero Toledo