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Recap: Colorado throttle playoffs-bound Houston, 2-0

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids held onto a measure of pride in their final outing of the season, beating a reserve-laden Houston Dynamo side 2-0 on Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park as Houston prepared for their Wednesday Knockout Round clash against Chicago.

The Rapids dominated the contest from the start to finish. Kamani Hill’s ninth-minute blast from distance and Andre Akpan’s  77th-minute header helped the Rapids close their 2012 campaign on a two-game win streak.

OPTA Chalkboard: Rapids dominate wire-to-wire vs. Dynamo backups

The Dynamo closed their regular season at 14-9-12 (53 points) while Colorado closed their 2012 account at 11-19-5 (37 points).

With the Red Bulls’ 3-0 win over Philadelphia and D.C. United and the Fire drawing at 1-1, the Dynamo were locked into the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference before kickoff and head coach Dominic Kinnear chose to field a lineup consisting mostly of backups and younger players. Only Macoumba Kandji – facing his former team – and Kofi Sarkodie started from the Dynamo XI that started the 3-1 win over Philadelphia last Saturday.

The Rapids took advantage of a younger Dynamo lineup inside 10 minutes. Hill took advantage of a sluggish midfield, loping through the middle before firing home from 25 yards out for his fifth goal in just his third start of the season.

The home team continued to apply the pressure after the goal, dominating the early stages of the contest and coming close on multiple set pieces, but the Rapids remained ahead by only a goal despite a near-total domination of the opening 45 minutes.

Houston continued their listless ways in the second half, and Akpan was finally able to put the game to bed 13 minutes from time. After Rapids midfielder Martin Rivero’s shot was parried by Dynamo ‘keeper Tyler Deric, Akpan headed home the rebound from close range for the 2-0 lead.

FULL LINEUPS AND BOXSCORE

Homegrown Rapid Davy Armstrong was handed his MLS debut in the 85th minute along with left back Chris Klute, who started and played the full 90 minutes for Colorado.

The Dynamo now travel to Chicago for their Knockout Round match against the Fire on Wednesday night, while the Rapids end their season without a postseason berth for the first time since 2009.

MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match

Rank Player What We Saw
1 Martin Rivero Didn't get on the scoresheet, but was at the heart of everything Colorado did. He's a player to build around in 2013.
2 Marvell Wynne Had a 2010 flashback game. Battled and won headers against guys half a foot taller than him, and never left room to get in behind.
3 Kamani Hill Had one moment of brilliance, and 65 minutes of mistake-free soccer. If he stays healthy, he could be integral next season.