The Houston Dynamo earned a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Thursday night in a preseason scrimmage at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz. Dynamo trialist Calum Elliot scored the game-winning goal just 63 seconds into the match on a setup from rookie Jason Johnson.
The goal-scoring play began when the Dynamo forced a turnover from the Rapids near midfield and quickly played the ball to Johnson on the left flank. Houston’s first round pick in the 2013 draft drove the ball inside toward goal, fighting off several Colorado defenders before passing to Elliot at the top of the Rapids penalty area. The Scottish striker held off his marker, turned, and fired a shot under the crossbar for his first goal of the preseason. It was also Johnson’s first assist.
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Houston nearly added to its lead in the 32nd minute. The buildup began with a well-weighted ball behind the Colorado defense from midfielder Adam Moffat to Alex Dixon, who raced toward the end line before driving a pass across the six-yard box. Elliot met Dixon's cross near the far post, but his sliding shot was saved by Colorado goalkeeper Steward Ceus.
The Dynamo came close again in first half stoppage time. Midfielder Franck Songo’o played a deftly weighted through ball in front of Johnson, who raced into the box and fired a low shot that was stopped by a charging Ceus.
Seven minutes after halftime, Giles Barnes sent a long cross from the left flank toward the far post. Songo’o tried a one-touch finish, but it sailed wide of the near post.
Colorado’s first big chance arrived in the 67th minute when Walter Martinez found Cesar Romero in the middle of the Houston half. Romero broke free into the box, but his shot was tipped wide of the post by substitute goalkeeper Erich Marscheider.
Twelve minutes later, Marscheider came up with a vital save to preserve the lead. Martinez again was the playmaker, setting up Dillon Serna, who targeted the low corner with his shot, but Marscheider dove to his left and got a hand on the shot to push it wide.
The Dynamo will conclude their trip to Tucson on Saturday, when they play the Vancouver Whitecaps at 5 p.m. CT. The match will be held at the Kino Sports Complex and will be streamed live at www.HoustonDynamo.com.
Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids
January 31, 2013 – Kino Sports Complex, Tucson, Ariz.
HOU – Calum Elliot 1 (Jason Johnson 1) 2
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall (Erich Marscheider 61); Warren Creavalle (Kofi Sarkodie 46), Eric Brunner (Bobby Boswell 46), Jermaine Taylor (Anthony Arena 46), Mike Chabala (Jimmy Nealis 46); Luiz Camargo, Adam Moffat (Je-Vaughn Watson 46), Alex Dixon (Giles Barnes 46); Franck Songo'o (Brian Ownby 61), Calum Elliot (Brian Ching 61), Jason Johnson (Cam Weaver 46)
Colorado Rapids: Steward Ceus (Clint Irwin 46); Marvell Wynne (Brian Mullan 46), Drew Moor (Brenton Griffiths 46), Diego Calderón (Shane O’Neill 46), Kory Kindle (Anthony Wallace 46, Chris Klute 61); Hendry Thomas (Dillon Powers 46), Pablo Mastroeni (Nathan Sturgis 46), Kamani Hill (Nick LaBrocca 46); Atiba Harris (Walter Martinez 46, Andre Akpan 83), Deshorn Brown (Cesar Romero 46), Tony Cascio (Dillon Serna 46)
HOU – Luiz Camargo (caution) 32
COL – Kamani Hill (caution) 37
COL – Chris Klute (caution) 81