Two goals in the span of five minutes from forward Mauro Manotas brought the Houston Dynamo back from a two-goal deficit to capture a 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids tonight at BBVA Stadium.
Under the leadership of interim head coach Davy Arnaud, who took the reins of the team on Wednesday, the Dynamo refused to give in after Colorado scored twice in the first half. Instead, Houston used the heat and humidity to its advantage over the final 20 minutes, creating eight scoring chances over that span, including the two goals from Manotas.
Manotas’ first goal came in the 74th minute as he ran on to a brilliant curling ball from defender Adam Lundkvist that put the Colombian into space behind the Colorado back line. Manotas calmly gathered himself and fired the ball over the left shoulder of Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin to pull Houston within one. The goal was Manotas’ 58th for the club across all competitions, moving him past Will Bruin for second in club history.
Manotas found the back of the net again five minutes later off a cross from midfielder Tommy McNamara. With the goal, Manotas tied Bruin for the most multi-goal games in Dynamo history with eight.
Colorado took an early lead in the seventh minute after Sam Nicholson won a 50-50 ball outside the box. The midfielder’s headed cross was controlled by forward Diego Rubio, who went away from Dynamo defender Maynor Figueroa as he shifted his momentum to clear the ball. Rubio’s effort beat Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis at the far post for the first goal of the game.
Rubio doubled Colorado’s lead in the 38th minute after the Chilean forward capitalized on a defensive mistake outside the box. After stepping in front of a wayward pass 30 yards from goal, the Chilean was able to evade defender Kiki Struna and Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis for his second goal of the game.
Dynamo forward Alberth Elis forced a pair of saves in the first half as he attempted to equalize things. In the 21st minute, he sprinted past a defender to create space inside the box, but his effort was saved at the bottom corner of the near post by the Rapids goalkeeper. Two minutes later, as the Dynamo cycled the ball at the top of the box, the Honduran international aimed for the bottom corner again and was met by Irwin.
Houston’s best chance of the first half came when captain Boniek García found forward Memo Rodriguez outside the box in the 34th minute and the Dynamo Academy alum’s effort from distance beat Irwin but banged off the crossbar.
Forward Christian Ramirez made his Dynamo debut at BBVA Stadium when he entered in the 56th minute and won a free kick in the 70th minute after battling for the ball with Kellyn Acosta. Manotas took the free kick, but his effort just missed the inside of the far post.
The Dynamo will now travel up I-45 to Frisco next Sunday to face FC Dallas as part of Heineken Rivalry Week. The match will air live nationally on FS1 at 7 p.m. CDT, with possession of El Capitán, a replica 18th-century mountain howitzer cannon, going to the winner.