HOUSTON – It’s not often you see the Houston Dynamo outworked at BBVA Compass Stadium, but after 45 minutes that is exactly what was happening.
The Colorado Rapids came into Houston’s home and consistently beat them to balls, won tackles and put pressure on the home team that had not lost on their home field since June of 2011. Simply put, the Dynamo were getting beat in the energy department.
The result was a 1-0 halftime deficit that could have been 2-0 if not for some goalline heroics by Kofi Sarkodie.
“Coming here I think they knew they needed to get in our face and show fight and I don’t think we did that in the first half,” said Andrew Driver. “Maybe we came into the game thinking it maybe will just happen. We needed the wake-up call and we’ve had it now.”
That wake-up came at halftime when the Dynamo concentrated on picking up the intensity. Houston came out in the second half and pushed the game, rekindling some of the trademark bite that has made the club an MLS Cup regular.
In the end, forward Giles Barnes rewarded the second half effort with a masterful 66th-minute goal to pull out a 1-1 draw.
While the result coming out of the game was technically positive, the club wasn’t having it. Instead of celebrating a point saved, the Dynamo were focusing on a first half that was, in consensus, not up to their standards.
“They took it to us and we woke up in the second half,” Brian Ching said. “For us it feels like a loss because we expect to win at home. It’s a lesson learned and we need to pick it up.”
That was the feeling for the Dynamo after last week’s 1-1 draw against Toronto FC as well. After Sunday’s draw, Houston knows it is an issue they have to figure out.
“We’re definitely going to have some video sessions this week and watch some of the mistakes that we made and have some harsh reality,” Bobby Boswell said. “The biggest thing to take away from it is we weren’t happy with it. Even if we had gotten a win there at the end we wouldn’t have been happy with how we played that game for 90 minutes. That’s something we have to work on.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.