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Rapids exploit Houston gaffe
by Ridge Mahoney, May 4th, 2011 11:24PM

TAGS:  colorado rapids, houston dynamo, mls


[MLS] Minutes after equalizing on a terrible mistake by Houston goalie Tally Hall, Colorado punched home another goal to stun the Dynamo, 2-1, Wednesday at Robertson Stadium.

Colorado defender Scott Palguta, who made his first start of the season at left back, scored from close range during a goalmouth scramble in the final minutes to cap a dispiriting night for the Dynamo, which squandered a 1-0 lead to lose, 2-1, and may have also lost forward Brian Ching to yet another injury.

Former Rapid Colin Clark, traded to Houston last season while rehabilitating a knee injury, scored his first Houston goal from a feed by Je-Vaughn Watson to provide a 1-0 lead in the 71st minute. But keeper Tally Hall threw away the advantage three minutes later by charging forward to deal with a long-range free kick he expected to be chipped into the box; instead, Jamie Smith struck a looping ball that just cleared Hall’s desperate backward lunge and dropped under the crossbar.

Another set play turned into Colorado’s gamewinner. In the 84th minute, Houston failed to clear a long throw-in and after it bounced off two Dynamo players, substitute forward Caleb Folan -- while lying in the goalmouth -- poked the ball back for Palguta to run onto and slam into the net.

Ching, who had played only 63 minutes because of numerous injuries, replaced Cam Weaver in the 62nd minute and after he shot over the crossbar and both teams scored, he needed on-field treatment for an unspecified injury. Ching finished the match. Midfielder Geoff Cameron, who had been listed on a preliminary lineup, was a late scratch and did not play.

By winning, the defending champion ended a four-game winless streak and upped its record to 4-3-1. Houston’s six-game unbeaten run ended and its record dropped to 3-2-3. On Saturday, Colorado plays at New England and Houston is at Toronto FC.

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