Colorado Rapids 2 earned two points in a shootout win over Houston Dynamo 2 on Sunday night at AVEVA Stadium. After a 1-1 draw in regulation, Colorado’s Abraham Rodriguez made a save during the shootout to give the Rapids the extra point to break Houston’s perfect home streak. 

"I am proud of the boys,” said Erik Bushey, Rapids 2 head coach. “That is probably an understatement. A very good game, a well-disciplined game. We were tough to break down. We were a threat on the counter and when we weren't as clean as we would have liked to have been, hard work and competitiveness made up for it.”

The Sunday night match at AVEVA Stadium got off to a slow start with the score sitting at nil-nil by the end of the first 45 minutes. The Colorado front three of Yosuke Hanya, Michael Harris and Maclovio Swett did well to create passing lanes in the attacking third, getting off two shots on goal in the first half. 

On the opposite end of the pitch, the Rapids defense managed to keep the attack heavy Houston to just three shots. Rapids 2 staple defenders Michael Edwards and Omar Gomez were among the defensive standouts, stifling Houston to a single shot on goal in the first half.

"Really, in terms of quality, it is hard to separate the defense from the attacking group because they were so closely linked tonight. We were able to turn good defending into some excellent attacking opportunities,” said Bushey. 

With the sides level heading into the second half, the race to find the opener was on. A well-positioned Robinson Aguirre found the opportunity five minutes into the half, collecting a deflection off of the Houston defense that he finished into the near post.

With that goal, the El Salvadorian midfielder gave Colorado the momentary lead and recorded his first MLS NEXT Pro goal of the year. 

“I think I deserved that goal,” said Aguirre. “I knew it was coming, I just had to keep waiting for that chance and it couldn't come at a better moment than today."

Houston found the equalizer just three minutes later after chipping the defense to find Kyle Edwards at the near post. 

The game continued on with multiple bookings and restarts as both sides continued to search for the game winner. The two sides went shot for shot, ending the game with four shots on goal each and three saves for each keeper. 

Colorado was handed its fifth MLS NEXT Pro shootout of the season after the match ended in a 1-1 draw. In typical fashion, Rodriguez stepped up to the challenge of defending his side, blocking one of Houston’s penalty kicks to give Colorado the edge. Meanwhile, goalscorer Aguirre led Colorado with its first successful penalty followed by defenders Omar Gomez, Blake Malone and forwards Swett and Harris with victories of their own. 

The shootout ended in a 5-4 win for Colorado and sent the team back home with two points in their pocket. 

“I felt like this win off of penalty kicks was huge,” said Aguirre. “We came up short the last time we played Houston and ever since we have started to pick up rhythm and get more chemistry with the team. We have progressed throughout the season. It shows what we can do. We did it together with a young group and I think we deserve it. It is a lot of props for the team and for coach Erik."

Rapids 2 will return home next week to compete in the MLS Next Pro Match of the Week against North Texas SC at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. MT and the match will be broadcast on MLSNEXTPro.com.