It took almost three hours for the match to get started but Houston Dynamo have advanced to the 2015 US Open Cup quarter-final after a 1-0 win over Colorado Rapids at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday night. In what has become a common occurrence in Houston this summer, the heavens opened leaving the stadium all but under water, creating a two hour, 48 minute delay as the ground staff cleared the pitch.
Dynamo started the match well and they were looking dangerous in the early stages and had their first chance in the 14th minute. Leonel Miranda was able to send in a cross for Alex and his effort was well saved by Zac MacMath who parried it away.
There was plenty of attacking play in the match, as both teams seemed to abandon defensive play and really go for it. There were 36 shots, with Colorado managing 20 of those shots, with that statistic showing the wastefulness of both sides.
The match was open throughout but the goal didn’t come until the 43rd minute thanks to a ball from Nathan Sturgis. Sturgis’ ball was curled in to a packed penalty area but Mauro Manotas was able to run on to the ball and head it home with a nice glancing header, scoring his first goal for Houston, in his first start for the club.
The two keepers were the story of the night, with Joe Willis and MacMath doing phenomenally well in each goal. Just as the match ticked in to the 45th minute Willis made a vital save as he was able to use his back leg to tip a shot off of the post.
In the early stages of the second half, it was only the post that denied Colorado from getting an equalizer. Vincente Sanchez sent in a perfect free-kick to find Jared Watts whose header came off the near post from close range.
It really was all Colorado in the second half, as they consistently pressured the Houston defense but for all that work they could not break through. In the 70th minute only a stunning Willis save kept it 1-0 after some impressive build up play allowed Marcelo Sarvas through on goal but he was denied by a stunning, low save.
Dillon Powers had one last chance to force the match to extra time, back in his home state. But Powers could only shoot right at Willis, which allowed him a simple save, to seal the win and send Houston to the last eight.