HOUSTON – After going on a near-flawless six-game unbeaten streak, the Houston Dynamo were done in by two mistakes off dead ball plays Wednesday night in their 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids at Robertson Stadium.
The two costly mistakes squandered a 71st minute goal from Colin Clark and gave the Dynamo their second home loss of the season. It also marked the first time they have given up more than one goal in a game in 2011.
“It’s disappointing to go one up and be ahead, and then make a couple of mistakes and come out with nothing,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear.
The most obvious mistake came when goalkeeper Tally Hall misjudged a Jamie Smith free kick, coming off his line and watching the ball sail over his head and into the goal just three minutes after Clark had given Houston a 1-0 lead.
“I made a colossal error and the team paid for it," Hall said. "Unfortunately it happens, and it happened today. [Smith] serves a good ball in. I’m trying to be big and I misread it from the beginning and I was punished for it.”
Eleven minutes after Hall’s gaffe, the Dynamo lapsed again, this time on a throw-in that saw the ball fall to the middle of the penalty box, where no Dynamo was able to clear it. From the ground, Rapids forward Caleb Folan poked the ball to Scott Palguta, who fired a shot through the crowd and past Hall for the winning goal. It was the second time this year the Dynamo lost a home game on a goal that was a result of a poorly defended throw-in.
Further exacerbating the two late mistakes is the fact that the Dynamo controlled large portions of the second half, which culminated in them scoring the game's first goal. It came after 70 minutes of choppy soccer where neither team could find their attacking formula. For the Dynamo to score and give up a goal just three minutes later was gut wrenching.
“To be 1-0 up and three minutes later to give up the goal so soon is always deflating,” Kinnear said. “The effort was there and I thought we controlled good periods of the game. I thought they defended well and took advantage of the mistakes we made.”
The defensive and goalkeeping lapses leave the club on 12 points and wondering what could have been if the final 20 minutes had gone differently.
“I thought we played well enough to win,” Hall said. “It was a fantastic goal by Colin. One goal is enough to win a game, and I feel like I let the team down today.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.