Early strikes doom Rapids in Houston

Sep 26, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Dynamo defender Raul Rodriguez (5) tackles Colorado Rapids forward Vicente Sanchez (7) in the second half at BBVA Compass Stadium. Dynamo won 3 to 2. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Pablo Mastroeni, Drew Moor and Dillon Serna all knew how important it was to keep Houston from scoring early on Saturday. Early goals have been Colorado’s Achilles heel for much of the season, including last Saturday’s lopsided loss at Toronto. It proved to be the same against Houston this Saturday, as the Rapids conceded a goal within the first three minutes.

It was an uphill battle to follow, but somehow Colorado managed to keep battling back.

After giving up the early opening score to Leonel Miranda, Colorado answered with a free kick from 28 yards out by Vicente Sanchez just over five minutes later.

Will Bruin, who led Houston’s attack throughout the day, assisted Giles Barnes to again give Houston the advantage, this time at the 24 minute mark.

But Sanchez would answer with another equalizer with the help of Dillon Powers (and Houston’s Raul Rodriguez, who appeared to tip the ball en route to the net) with just a minute remaining in the half.

The lead wouldn’t last long after the break, however. Brad Davis, in his 300th MLS start, played a missed header by Bruin for a easy goal as Clint Irwin couldn’t get help after making the play on Bruin. The score came just 69 seconds into the half. Another fast start that ultimately cost Colorado. The Rapids could not respond, despite strong efforts by Luis Solignac and Sanchez having a chance for a hat trick in minute 79. Alas, none of their efforts materialized.

The win pads Houston’s lead on the Rapids for last place in the Western Conference. Colorado next plays on Sunday, Oct. 4 at home against Real Salt Lake with a chance to at least salvage the Rocky Mountain Cup in what has been a disappointing 2015. Colorado and their Rocky Mountain rival played to a draw in their first meeting and Colorado took the second matchup 3-1 in Commerce City.

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