In his 300th start for the club, Brad Davis delivered a boost to the Houston Dynamo, scoring a 47th-minute winner to clinch three points in a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rapids.
The Dynamo captain struck for the full reward just 69 seconds after the half-time break. Will Bruin—who was integral to Houston's play Saturday—missed a header, letting the ball fall right to Davis. With Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin chasing Bruin’s attempt, it was easy pickings for the left-footer who put the shot away and gave Houston a 3-2 lead.
The win improves the Dynamo to 41 points, but with the Portland Timbers win earlier in the night, they remain three back of the final playoff spot. Colorado remains on 34 points.
Houston hit the ground running thanks to a stout defensive play from Bruin and a cool finish from Leonel Miranda. Bruin overpowered Jared Watts to ignite the attack and played Giles Barnes into the penalty area. The Jamaican international stumbled trying to collect it, but managed to get it in the path of Miranda, who one-timed it to the far post to make it 1-0 in the 3rd minute.
The lead didn’t last long as Vicente Sanchez equalized six minutes later. With a dangerous free kick 28 yards away, Sanchez found room and curled a pinpoint attempt around the wall in just inside the near post where Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric couldn’t get to it to make it 1-1 inside of the first 10 minutes.
Bruin, who was all over the place in the early going, popped up again for Houston and facilitated a go-ahead goal in the 24th minute. Bruin played himself down the line and beat Sean St. Ledger to the ball. With Barnes cutting in, Bruin took an extra touch to pull a defender before lining Barnes up to tap in his seventh goal of the season and a 2-1 lead. It was Barnes’ first MLS goal since May 16th, and it broke a 13-game scoreless streak.
Houston was the aggressor and answered the call to come out flying. For all their vigor, a self-inflicted wound got them. In the 44th minute Sanchez worked the back end of a one-two move with Dillon Powers to square a ball across the goal. On a full sprint, Dynamo center back Raúl Rodríguez looked to help it into goal, but Sanchez was awarded the tally to draw the game level at 2-2 at the half.
After Davis scored the Rapids did not go away. Luis Solignac raced down the left side to pressure Deric’s goal in the 51st minute. Breaking on Sheanon Williams, his angle was cut out when reinforcements arrived in the way of Rodríguez.
Two minutes later Bruin made another attempt to hit the goal column on a set piece, but his shot from three yards away went right to Irwin, who deflected it out of harm’s way. Just before that Barnes used a high flick to himself to set Bruin up, but again, his shot went right to Irwin.
In the 79th minute Sanchez bid to continue his productive night, but Deric was quick to his right. Sanchez curled a 26-yard free kick to the near post, but Deric diving effort was enough to keep the lead. He made one last effort in the 88th minute in a one-on-one situation with Deric, but his shot couldn’t beat the ‘keeper low.
Meanwhile, Bruin settled for two assists in the game as Houston beat the Rapids in MLS play for the first time in 11 tries.
Houston travels north to face FC Dallas in a must-win game Sunday. Colorado hosts the Montreal Impact on Oct. 10.
Houston Dynamo (11-12-8; 41 points) vs. Colorado Rapids (8-12-10; 34 points)
MLS regular season
September 26, 2015 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Houston Dynamo: Leonel Miranda 2 (Giles Barnes 3, Will Bruin 3) 3
Colorado Rapids: Vicente Sánchez 3 (unassisted) 8
Houston Dynamo: Giles Barnes 7 (Will Bruin 4) 24
Colorado Rapids: Vicente Sánchez 4 (Dillon Powers 6) 44
Houston Dynamo: Brad Davis 4 (unassisted) 47
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; Sheanon Williams, David Horst, Raúl Rodríguez, DaMarcus Beasley; Leonel Miranda, Ricardo Clark (Alexander López 69), Rasheed Olabiyi (Luis Garrido 83), Brad Davis ©; Giles Barnes, Will Bruin
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Willis, Taylor Hunter, Nathan Sturgis, Erick Torres, Mauro Manotas
Colorado Rapids: Clint Irwin; Drew Moor, Bobby Burling, Sean St Ledger (Gabriel Torres 57), Maynor Figueroa; Marcelo Sarvas, Jared Watts, Lucas Pittinari; Luis Solignac, Dillon Powers (Juan Ramírez 81), Vicente Sánchez
Substitutes Not Used: Zac MacMath, Joseph Greenspan, Nick LaBrocca, Sam Cronin, Dillon Serna
COL: Marcelo Sarvas (caution) 66
HOU: Raul Rodríguez (caution) 78
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Jeff Muschik, Jason White
Fourth Official: Marcos de Oliveira