The Houston Dynamo were just seconds away from their fourth straight win in league play, but an equalizer by Colorado's Lalas Abubakar in the sixth minute of stoppage time meant the Dynamo would have to settle for a 1-1 draw that extended their unbeaten streak to six matches.
“We knew [Colorado] were going to fight for their lives today and credit to them. Colorado did a great job—they kept the pressure on us the whole time,” said Houston's first-year head coach Tab Ramos after the game.
Christian Ramirez put the Dynamo on the board just 20 seconds into the second half and it looked as though they would be going home with another three points which would have lifted them into 3rd place in the Western Conference standings.
It wasn't for lack of trying on Houston's part. With a 1-0 lead in the 58th minute, Ramos made three attack-minded subs by introducing Mauro Manotas, Darwin Quintero and Ariel Lassiter "so that we could score the 2-0 and walk away with the three points," Ramos said. It didn't work out in the end although Ramos felt that they would have created more scoring chances had they done a better job of keeping the ball.
But this road trip also presented some unique challenges: Besides a surprise cold front that brought temperatures in the low 40s/high 30s to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Houston also had to contend with the altitude and traveling to Colorado earlier in the day.
“It was kind of strange landing because it looked like I had lied to them and told them we would be coming to Colorado, but it looked like we had a game in Moscow," Ramos joked. "We could see the snow on the side as we landed so that was a little bit strange, but hey, you know what? We're looking forward to going back to the heat of Houston."
Highlights: Colorado 1, Houston 1
All things considered, Ramos made it clear that he was ultimately satisfied with the effort by his team and he highlighted the performance of his defense, calling goalkeeper Marko Maric the Dynamo's man of the match.
In the midst of a stretch of four matches in 11 days and two unexpected injuries to Victor Cabrera and Wilfried Zahibo, Ramos sees the 1-1 draw as a valuable point and two denied to a fellow Western Conference playoff hopeful.
"I feel good about the team. We’re in a good spot. We’ve got ourselves in a playoff fight, which is where we want to be," Ramos said. "Today we came to play an opponent that likely will be in that fight with us; and had we lost today here in Colorado, all of a sudden we’re only one point ahead of them and they’re right in the middle of it.
"To come out of here with the one goal and the one point – obviously we’re a little disappointed because if we’d waited another 15 seconds, we likely would’ve taken the three points, but I think the one point is more than fair.”