The Colorado Rapids went in and beat a Houston Dynamo team that they should have beat. The 3-2 score line was big for the Rapids who clinched at least second place in the western conference and for the Dynamo who were eliminated from playoffs.
It wasn't all pretty for the Rapids. A defensive letdown by Jared Watts and Axel Sjoberg led to the first goal for the Dynamo by Mauro Manotas. They did not communicate about where Manotas was. The second goal, also by Manotas, was a mistake by Tim Howard when he only put three people in the wall. The ball curled around the inside of the wall and went into the net.
The Rapids scoring came early in the 12' when a poor clearance came right to Sebastien Le Toux who found Dillon Powers and he chipped it over the defense to Dominique Badji for the 1-0 lead. He got his brace in the 54' when Powers placed a beautiful through ball to Badji who chipped Joe Willis.
My man of the match was Badji. He had a great match and I hope this play continues into the playoffs. Who was your man of the match? Let us know in the comments below.
Here is how I saw the match.
Tim Howard - 5 (7.03): Howard should have done better on the free kick later in the match that led to Houston's second goal. As mentioned earlier he only had three in the wall and the ball was able to get by the wall on the inside and it skipped into the net.
Marc Burch - 6 (6.72): A solid match for Burch who did well in defense and attacking. Axel Sjoberg - 5 (6.69): Overall a good match from Sjoberg. But he turned off and was marking space on Manotas' first goal.
Jared Watts - 5 (6.72): Failed to communicate with Sjoberg on Manotas but to Sjoberg, I am not sure Watts communicated with them. That said, you can't leave a man unless you are for sure that he is getting picked up.
Eric Miller - 5 (6.31): Just a sloppy performance by Miller. He put several passes straight out of bounds.
Sam Cronin - 5 (6.59): A strong performance but needs to watch his physical play. He probably should have had a yellow earlier in the match but did pick one up for time wasting. He will miss the match on Thursday.
Micheal Azira - 7 (7.31): A good rebound performance by Azira. He was all over the pitch and tracked back several times to cover for players who were caught up field. He got the assist on Gashi's goal.
Shkelzen Gashi - 7 (7.66): Gashi did go missing at times in this match, but had a good shot blocked in the first half. He did get the goal on a nice shot in the second half. Overall he worked hard all evening.
Dillon Powers - 8 (7.66): A wonderful match from Powers who had a good scoring opportunity himself but did his most damage setting up Badji's two goals.
Sebastien Le Toux - 6 (6.55): A better performance by Le Toux. He was in a good position to steal the ball and feed Powers on Badji's first goal. There were a few times that he went missing though.
Dominique Badji - 9 (8.72): Badji is growing into a strong striker and nothing more demonstrates that than his second goal. Earlier in the season he was smashing those shots into the keeper, this time he chipped Willis. His first goal was a great shot to get it in off the post. He almost scored at the end of the first half, Willis was able to get enough on the ball.
Caleb Calvert - 5 (6.07): He came on in the 73' for Le Toux. It was not a good match for Calvert, he had few touches and was not into this match too much when he came on.
Dennis Castillo - N/A (5.93): He came on in the 88' for Gashi.
Joseph Greenspan - N/A (6.10): He came on in the 90' +4' for Badji.
That is how I saw the match. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.