The Colorado Rapids came out strong in the first half. They dominated possession and were getting some great opportunities. Early in the first half, Kevin Doyle passed a great ball to Dominique Badji, but he shot it wide. Sebastien Le Toux had a chance, but didn’t get a good boot on it. Jared Watts had a diving header off a corner kick, but it soared over. It seemed like it was only a matter of time before something went in.
Until the 20th minute. The Houston Dynamo dribbled the ball into the box, took a shot that Tim Howard saved... but deflected it to a waiting Andrew Wenger, who easily put it in the back of the net. You would think that this would have put a serious damper on the energy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, but the crowd stayed loud and Colorado kept up the pressure.
Unfortunately, the Houston defense held them off and cleared the ball, taking away several offensive opportunities for the Rapids. Some did get through, like when Doyle had another pass that just rolled through the box, but no one was there to finish. The Rapids just didn’t have it together—missed passes, getting the ball taken away, and not finishing when they did get shots.
The Rapids went into the locker room at the half down by a goal.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, FC Dallas and LA Galaxy were tied 0-0 at their half. Bruce Arena said he was playing to win, but decided to rest some starters (they have a playoff game either Wednesday or Thursday).
No subs to start the second half. The Rapids came out looking better.
In the 61st minute, Pablo Mastroeni subbed out Le Toux and put in Marlon Hairston. The Hairston/Badji combo has worked well in the past, and just a minute after coming in, Hairston was putting pressure on Joe Willis, Houston’s goalkeeper.
Houston beat the defense and had a terrifying look. Tim Howard hurried the ball up the field. It got to Hairston, who passed it in to Shkëlzen Gashi, and HE SCORED! It was all tied up in the 67th minute!
Right after the goal, Jermaine Jones (who hasn’t played since July due to an LCL tear) subbed into the game for Sam Cronin. The crowd was pretty psyched, and every time Jones touched the ball, cheers erupted around DSGP.
Jones didn’t look like he had been out for the last couple months, which was nice to see. He drew a couple fouls, but also managed to earn a yellow of his own in the 88th minute.
Right at the 89th minute, the Rapids had a fantastic goal scoring opportunity, but Badji couldn’t get it past Willis. There would be three minutes of stoppage time, but the final score was 1-1. Dallas and LA tied at 0-0, so even a Rapids win wouldn’t have secured the Supporters’ Shield.
Overall, the first half was not great. But did the Rapids do enough in the second half to get the win? I think so. What do you think?