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Played
August 28, 2010 11:30 PM EDT
Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO
 
 
 
23′ Conor Casey
 
Top of the Match
Conor Casey
Conor Casey
Colorado Rapids
Flop of the Match
Lovel Palmer
Lovel Palmer
Houston Dynamo

Colorado Rapids 3-0 Houston Dynamo: Rapids Run Riot

Three first half goals proved more than enough for Colorado to overcome Houston, with the visiting side playing with ten men for most of the game.

By Kevin McCauley

Omar Cummings, Colorado Rapids; Eddie Robinson, Houston Dynamo; MLS (Getty Images)
The Houston Dynamo and Colorado Rapids started their game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park under expectations of a tight contest between two teams on the fringes of a Major League Soccer playoff spot. Unfortunately for neutrals and Dynamo fans, that expected tight matchup did not happen. Colorado scored in just the second minute of the game and a red card just eight minutes later effectively ended the match. Colarado’s emphatic 3-0 win came easily and set the tone that they are still very much involved in the playoff race.

First Half

It took only two minutes for Colorado to take the lead over Houston at home. Conor Casey was able to pick out Jamie Smith with a 30 yard ball over the top of the Houston defense and Smith finished calmly at Pat Onstad’s far post. It was a clean and composed finish for Smith, but it was hardly an unstoppable shot. A younger or healthier Onstad would have likely done better.

Just six minutes later in the 8th minute, Casey attempted a very ambitious 35-yard strike. Surprisingly, Casey was able to strike it on target with power, but unfortunately for him, the shot was too close to Onstad.

The match effectively ended just two minutes later when Houston midfielder Lovel Palmer was shown a straight red card for making deliberate contact with Pablo Mastroeni with his studs after the whistle. Palmer appeared to retaliate as the result of contact made by Mastroeni after the whistle, but the official did not judge Mastroeni’s foul to be a red card offense. Mastroeni was shown yellow and the match continued 11 on 10.

It did not take long after gaining a man advantage for Colorado to blow the match wide open. In the 16th minute, Omar Cummings scored his sixth goal of the season to put the Rapids up 2-0. Conor Casey took the ball down the right side of the penalty area and delivered a great pass across the face of goal to Cummings, who easily tapped the ball into the back of the empty net while running full speed.

Only seven minutes later, in the 23rd minute, Colorado struck again. Midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy hit a shot right at Onstad, who parried the ball across the 18 yard area. In another stroke of bad luck for Houston, the ball fell right to the feet of Conor Casey who made no mistake with his finish.The goal put the Rapids up 3-0 and gave Casey a goal and two assists on the night.

At that point, Colorado stepped on the brakes a bit. Houston had to make multiple changes due to allowing three goals and going down to 10 men. Mike Chabala replaced Dominic Oduro in the 23rd minute and Eddie Robinson replaced Anthony Obodai in the 25th. Little happened for the next 15 minutes until Houston had a decent spell. Brian Mullan, Geoff Cameron, and Andrew Hainault put shots on target in the 40th, 44th, and 46th minutes, but all of their efforts were saved comfortably.

Before the end of the half, a bit of controversy ensued. Colorado defender Drew Moor appeared to pull on the shirt of Dynamo striker Brian Ching in the box, but no penalty kick was awarded. The teams would go into halftime with Colorado leading 3-0.



Second Half

With Colorado already having the game in the bag, the second half was rather uneventful. In the 52nd minute, Casey had a chance on goal that was saved well by Onstad, but Casey appeared to handle the ball on the play.

Houston had a decent spell of play just a little more than 10 minutes after the break. Geoff Cameron hit a decent shot just over the crossbar in the 56th minute and Hainault had a good effort saved in the 58th.

In the 63rd, Colorado looked poised to add to their lead. Jeff Larentowicz had a shot that was just barely blocked and deflected wide of the goal. The ball eventually came to Smith whose shot went just wide of the post.

Conor Casey would have three more opportunities before the end of the game, but none of them would hit the target. He missed a shot well wide in the 72nd, had an effort cleared off the line after a good exchange with Ballouchy and Cummings in the 74th minute, and he missed a shot he would have liked to had back in the 81st minute. The rest of the match produced little action as Colorado walked away with a comfortable 3-0 victory.

Kevin McCauley is a United States based soccer writer and podcaster who covers Major League Soccer and La Liga for Goal.com. To read his work on other subjects regarding the beautiful game, check out All Things Footy.


For more on Major League Soccer, visit Goal.com's MLS page and join Goal.com USA's Facebook fan page!


Colorado Rapids

17
Ian Joyce
Goalkeeper
0.00
21
Julien Baudet
Defender
69′
0.00
22
Marvell Wynne
Defender
44′
0.00
3
Drew Moor
Defender
0.00
27
Kosuke Kimura
Defender
0.00
20
Jamie Smith
Midfielder
2′
0.00
20
Jeff Larentowicz
Midfielder
0.00
25
Pablo Mastroeni
Midfielder
10′ 60′
0.00
14
Mehdi Ballouchy
Midfielder
0.00
6
Conor Casey
Striker
2′ 16′ 23′ 72′
0.00
7
Omar Cummings
Striker
16′
0.00

Houston Dynamo

0.00
-
Pat Onstad
Goalkeeper
0.00
-
0.00
20
0.00
32
0.00
-
0.00
11
Brian Mullan
Midfielder
0.00
5
Lovel Palmer
Midfielder
10′
0.00
-
Anthony Obodai
Midfielder
25′
0.00
44
Danny Cruz
Midfielder
70′
0.00
-
0.00
8

Substitutes

-
Chris Sharpe
Goalkeeper
0.00
24
0.00
9
0.00
2
Danny Earls
Defender
44′
0.00
-
W. Thompson
Midfielder
60′
0.00
-
0.00

Substitutes

0.00
1
Tally Hall
Goalkeeper
0.00
26
Corey Ashe
Midfielder
0.00
-
0.00
-
0.00
23
Cam Weaver
Striker
45′
0.00
-
0.00
11
Brad Davis
Midfielder

Coach/Manager

-
0.00

Coach/Manager

0.00
-
 
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  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
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