COMMERCE CITY, CO (June 13, 2017) – It was not pretty, but they survived. The Colorado Rapids scored three goals in the second half to defeate USL side OKC Energy FC in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Dennis Castillo had an assits and the goal at the death to win it.
Rapids Manager Pablo Mastroeni started a make-shift lineup. The home side came out in a 4-3-3. Alan Gordon started up top with Ricardo Perez on his wing. The midfield consisted of Sam Hamilton, Dillon Powers, and Jared Watts. Dillon Serna made a rare start at left back. Bobby Burling started at center back in front of Zac MacMath.
Energy Head Coach Jimmy Nielsen in a 4-4-2. C.J. Cochran was in goal. Richard Dixon and Michael Daley were in defense. Chad Bond highlighted the midfield alongside Cody Andrews. Daniel Jackson and Jose Barril started up top.
Colorado Rapids Comeback To Beat OKC Energy At The Death 3-2C
The Rapids had the lion’s share of the possession in the first half. Serna was regularly pushed up the field. Powers faciliated the attack to wide positions. They relied primarily on crosses from wide positions. Unfortunately, Gordon and Burling could not get their heads on any of them.
OKC Energy bunkered for much of the half. Their defense bent but did not break. They waited for their few counter chances and made them count. The visitors started the scoring in the 38th minute. A turnover at midfield sprung a three-on-three counter attack. Daniel Gonzalez received the ball, ran past Burling, rounded MacMath and scored.
Minutes later, Burling went down with a leg injury and hobbled off the field. The Rapids prepared a sub, but were burned playing with 10 men. A good build up by OKC left Philip Rasmussen open. The midfielder shot the ball first time into the bottom corner.
The half ended 2-0 shortly after Dominique Badji subbed in.
Colorado started the half with a new sense of urgency. Badji pulled one back in the 49th minute with a first time shot. Dennis Castillo recorded an assist with a perfectly placed cross to his teammate in stride. The score was 2-1 with 40 minutes to play.
That goal woke Colorado up. They began several waves of attack with Gordon being in the center of it all. The pressing eventually paid off.
In the 66th minute, substitute Marlon Hairston won a corner. On the kick, Alan Gordon got an open header in the middle of the box. He deflected it towards Eric Miller on the far post. The defender volleyed it first time past Cochran to make it 2-2.
The game opened up after that with the Rapids getting the better of the chances, slightly. Substitute Kevin Doyle had a blast in the 81st minute but Cochran made the save. The play was called offsides. Badji had a great chance in transition, but Andrews snuffed it out.
That led to a corner chance. Powers delivered a great cross into the middle of the box. Castillo lost his mark in the box and headed it into the top corner to take the lead.
The match ended 3-2. This is a huge comeback win for the Rapids. It was not pretty, but it worked. OKC have to shaking their heads, giving up a chance to upset an MLS team in the USOC.