Wow. If the Rapids manage to get a decent run going in this season and make a comeback to the top three playoff spots solidly by season's end, this may be the game that we point to as the game that started the great run. It was surely three points for the Dynamo dropped thanks to some brilliance and a dash of luck for the defending champions, defeating the on-fire Houston Dynamo in Houston 2-1.
Colorado came into this one feeling some damage, with Omar Cummings and Andre Akpan starting up top. Scott Palguta was also inserted into the defense, with a collective groan coming out of Rapids nation as the news broke. Scott didn't let his... uh, fans down as he played terribly the entire match on defense, although the Rapids managed to keep Houston to only a meager few shots in the first half. Unfortunately, the Rapids didn't do anything on offense either and wound up with zero shots on goal. Other than a few moments of chippy play, one of the most boring halves of football I've ever watched.
Omar Cummings got his ankle sprained in the 'excitement' of the first half after a tough tackle. The severity of his injury is still unknown, but it's becoming simply farcical the number of strikers that the Rapids keep losing week by week. I have no idea who we'll be seeing up top against New England since Conor Casey is healthier but not with the team. A Caleb Folan/Andre Akpan pairing up top is probably the most skillful that we can put out at the moment with both top guys gone, this will mark the first time all season that neither Casey or Cummings is in a game assuming Cummings hasn't healed then.
The second half started with more life for both teams but still no goals until the 71st minute. Former Rapids player Colin Clark streaked into the box and snapped a shot right past a stone statue in the shape of Scott Palguta, beating Pickens for a 1-0 Dynamo score late. The Rapids have been in this situation many times with very little success on their part overall, so what happened next was... surprising to say the least. Tally Hall wandered too far off his line in the 74th minute and Jamie Smith decided that from about 35 yards out it would be a good idea to try an incredibly high chip of the keeper, and it worked. Defense ruled the match for the next ten minutes with very few chances getting anywhere near the goal. Suddenly the ball came into the final third for the Rapids and amidst some chaotic play, Caleb Folan nicked the ball from the ground slowly over to Scott Palguta... who finished. 2-1 Rapids, in the least probable way that anyone could have imagined.
Despite being out-attempted on goal 11-4 by Houston, it was a hard fought attempt with just enough umph to get them out of there with a vital three points. Jamie's goal may have been all luck and Palguta's may have been a perfect situation for a guy who would otherwise never score in his life, but at least unlike Salt Lake we scored our late winner onside.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Hard to pin this one down, but I guess I'll have to go with Jamie Smith. He looked better than he had the last few games and capitalized on a very rare mistake from Tally Hall to get a long goal.
GOAT OF THE MATCH: Palguta had this one in the bag until he had to go and score that awesome game winner. I'll go with Matt Pickens. Almost gave up a few goals on his own to the Dynamo with some dumb play and too much movement off his line.