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Houston Dynamo rally to draw Colorado Rapids, make interim coach Davy Arnaud proud

Houston, Texas – Under new leadership, the Houston Dynamo (9-13-4, 31 points) snapped a four-game losing streak with late goals to tie the Colorado Rapids (7-13-6, 27 points) 2-2 at BBVA Stadium.

Houston’s new interim head coach, Davy Arnaud, had his first test against the Rapids.

“For me, after the stretch that we have been on, the week that we have been on — after that start that we had, it could have been a bad response, we could have hung our heads and given up,” said Arnaud, who took over after the Dynamo fired Wilmer Cabrera earlier in the week. “I could not be prouder of our group and their response in the second half. I thought it was fantastic. I thought it showed character. I thought it showed a commitment to the team.”

Spectators were still finding their way to seats when the first goal was scored. The Rapids’ Sam Nicholson kicked the ball to Diego Rubio and the midfielder found some space in the penalty area with no Dynamo defenders to stop him from getting a 1-0 lead in the 7th minute.

Lack of concentration by the Dynamo backline caused a second Rapids goal in the 38th minute.  Defender Maynor Figueroa passed to teammate Kiki Struna, who did not see the ball until it was too late. Rubio stole the ball and sent it to the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.

Houston had 15 shots, four of them on target, but could not finish.

“It was interesting, because in the locker room you would think the heads would be hung down, but that wasn’t the case,” Arnaud said. “When we talked at halftime, you could see it in their eyes that they believed.”

In the 74th minute, Dynamo defender Adam Lundkvist, as he was falling down, passed the ball to Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas, who blasted in the first goal for the Dynamo to make it a 2-1 game in the second half and give the home team hope.

A  few minutes later, Dynamo midfielder Tommy McNamara cut back in the 18-yard box and sent a cross to Manotas, who softly kicked the ball into the net to equalize the game 2-2. It was Manotas’ 11th goal of the season. He is now just five goals away from tying Will Bruin’s single-season scoring record in all competitions for the club. Since joining the Dynamo in 2015, Manotas has 46 goals in all competitions. That places him third in club history for most goals scored. Bruin is second with 57 goals. Brain Ching holds the No. 1 spot with 69 goals.

“Obviously, that is what I work for. I want to leave a mark here at the club,” Manotas said when asked about the scoring records. “Thank God my teammates, … have given me the opportunity. I continue following the list, and now we are a little closer to Brain Ching. There are still many games to keep scoring goals.”

Both teams came into the game desperate to add points to get closer to a playoff berth. Although it was not the desired outcome for the Dynamo, they added a point toward that goal. Houston is ninth in the Western Conference, tied in points with No. 10 Sporting Kansas City and six points behind No. 8 FC Dallas.

“The team is very close, is strong with great desire, … and we will try to meet the objective,” Dynamo midfielder Matis Vera said. “We will continue working and preparing for what is coming.”

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