Two second-half goals from winger Marlon Hairston sealed a crucial home victory for Colorado Rapids Soccer Club on Saturday night, downing the Houston Dynamo, 3-1, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Starting together in the midfield for the first time, Nana Boateng and Mohammed Saeid connected well from the get-go, winning the lion’s share of possession and dictating play from end-to-end.
The Rapids go-ahead goal came in the 21st-minute following an impressive bit of build-up play. Starting in their own defensive third, Pablo Mastroeni’s men strung together twelve consecutive passes, traversing the length of the field and culminating in a perfectly-placed goal from Kevin Doyle.
The hosts almost doubled their advantage in the 32nd-minute, but Dillon Serna’s close-range effort was stopped by Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis.
Willis’ counterpart, Tim Howard was stellar as well. After an early save to deny Mauro Manotas, Howard then stepped up and produced two tremendous stops late in the first half. The first came on a close-range header from Andrew Wenger, which was followed up just one minute later by a sprawling denial of Dynamo midfielder, Juan David Cabezas.
Despite his best efforts, however, the Rapids talisman could do nothing but watch as striker Erick Torres toe-poked in a cross late in to first-half stoppage-time to equal the score at 1-1.
The match did not stay level for long, however, as just two minutes in to the second stanza Doyle played a well-weighted through ball to striker Dominique Badji, who then rounded Willis and found a streaking Marlon Hairston. Unmarked, Hairston easily slid the ball in to the back of the net to reassert the Rapids' one goal advantage.
The Dynamo nearly found a second equalizer in the 63rd-minute, but defender A.J. DeLaGarza blazed his shot over the bar.
It was opportunity lost for the Dynamo, as the Rapids quickly doubled their advantage in the 69th-minute. Badji outmuscled his defender and found Doyle, who worked hard to free up space for Hairston to cleverly chip over Willis to make it 3-1.
The win moves the Rapids (6-10-1; 19 points) up two spots in the Western Conference standings ahead of Tuesday’s night home showdown with eighth-place Seattle Sounders FC. Kickoff at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is set for 7:00 p.m. MT (TICKETS).
Colorado Rapids 3-1 Houston Dynamo
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, CO
Saturday, July 1, 2017
COL: Kevin Doyle (Dillon Serna, Dominique Badji) 21’
HOU: Erick Torres (A.J. DeLaGarza) 45’+5’
COL: Marlon Hairston (Dominique Badji, Kevin Doyle) 48’
COL: Marlon Hairston (Kevin Doyle, Dominique Badji) 69’
COL: Mike da Fonte (caution) 4’
COL: Sam Hamilton (caution) 82’
Colorado Rapids: Tim Howard; Dennis Castillo, Eric Miller, Mike da Fonte, Mekeil Williams; Marlon Hairston (Caleb Calvert 77’), Nana Boateng (Sam Hamilton 74’), Mohammed Saeid, Dillon Serna; Dominique Badji (Jared Watts 89’), Kevin Doyle.
Subs not used: Zac MacMath, Kortne Ford, Ricardo Perez, Alan Gordon.
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; A.J. DeLaGarza, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley; Ricardo Clark (Vicente Sanchez 78’), Juan David Cabezas (Alex 65’), Boniek Garcia; Andrew Wenger (Joseph Holland 90’+1’), Erick Torres, Mauro Manotas.
Subs not used: Tyler Deric, Jalil Anibaba, Dylan Remick, Memo Rodriguez.
Colorado Rapids: 6-10-1 (19 points)
Houston Dynamo: 7-7-4 (25 points)