John A. Babiak – @Photog_JohnB
A late game winner from Lalas Abubakar gave the Rapids one point on a cold night at DSGP.
A fairly even, back-and-forth between the sides saw the Colorado Rapids get the better of the first chances in the first half. The Houston Dynamo came out strong for the first 15-20 minutes, but the Rapids held down possession took over the remainder of the first half. An active Kamara, combined with Jonathan Lewis and Diego Rubio down the left side caused Houston to be back on their heels all too often.
The second half started with Rapids’ captain Jack Price coming into the match for Collen Warner in the middle; however, another momentary lapse in concentration cost Colorado just seconds in. Houston’s Memo Rodriquez got a cross in from the right side to Christian Ramirez — who had snuck behind Lalas Abubakar at the far post — for the tap across goal to the right post and the 1-0 lead out of nowhere.
Colorado woke up after that goal, with another nice possession and a low blast from Rubio that was tipped away for a corner kick. On the ensuing ball, his header towards goal was farther tipped by Auston Trusty off the crossbar and over for the Rapids.
Houston had a dangerous sequence in the 73rd minute that forced William Yarbrough to make the save for a corner kick, then saw the Dynamo shot towards goal slide inches wide off the loose ball. The Burgundy Boys upped the ante in attack as Cole Bassett and Nicolas Benezet came on in the 75th minute looking to break through for a Colorado push that had enough good looks but no quality second half chances.
One late good look was given to Bassett from distance in the 89th minute after Colorado scrapped to retain a loose ball, but the youngster’s blast went inches wide right. The night looked doomed for another disappointing homestand as the final whistle grew nearer.
But, with stoppage time running down to nothing, the Rapids once more got into the Houston box with numbers to cause havoc and not allowing the Dynamo to clear the play. Abubakar found himself unmarked in front of Maric, whom he slipped the equalizer past to the keeper’s right to share the points.
Another disappointing draw for Colorado as no one celebrated at the final whistle and they continue to tread water looking ahead to the next round of games to be announced by MLS.